Graffham villagers bring planning war to Chichester District Council

Graffham residents protest outside Chichester District Council to stop new development on land at the Homes of Rest
Graffham residents protest outside Chichester District Council to stop new development on land at the Homes of Rest
  • Development on land at the Homes of Rest has raged for several years
  • Residents stall planning application at committee meeting
  • Villagers have concerns over traffic and highways

A PLANNING war rages on after residents successfully managed to stall an application for homes in their village.

Parishioners rallied together at a Chichester District Council planning committee to decide Reside Developments’ controversial bid to build five new homes and demolish four cottages on land surrounding the Grade II listed Homes of Rest in Graffham.

They had a refusal in their hands

Villagers managed to overthrow the officers’ recommendation of approval and persuade the committee to defer making a decision.

But many were disappointed the committee failed to reject the plans altogether. “They had a refusal in their hands,” said one resident.

Vice-chairman of Graffham Parish Council, which objected to the plans, Nick Loble, said: “The existing dwellings on the site provide low-cost homes which would be lost. This is something the village cannot afford to lose.

“It is clearly over-development and would have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties. It is strongly viewed the style and design of the houses is urban.”

Speaking on behalf of Reside Developments, Andrew Williams said the plans were ‘of a high quality’.

“The proposed dwellings are in keeping with the character of the village,” he said.

Cllr John Elliott said: “The two pairs of semi-detached cottages were built in the 1950s. For these to be demolished is a tragedy.

“They have a very low rent. If four go, we have only got three left in Graffham.”

Cllr Janet Duncton said: “I have to say I find the design very uninspiring. I’m not very impressed with what I see before me to replace those awful bungalows which I would like to see gone.”

Cllr Martyn Bell said: “The Homes of Rest is a gem. We have to take this very seriously.

“It’s a very rural setting, I am surprised this has come before us as a recommendation for approval and I would vote against it.”