PLANS for homes on a greenfield site at Wisborough Green have caused a storm among villagers.
They claim it is another example of ‘greedy developers’ threatening to destroy the rural area.
Villagers are in the final stages of preparing their neighbourhood plan and stress the need to take heed of the wishes of people at the ‘grass roots’ who have spent long hours drawing up a plan which they hope will shape the future of the village.
The outline plans submitted to Chichester District Council are to build on Stable Field off Kirdford Road in the village.
The latest proposal is to build 26 sheltered homes in a scheme designed for the over-55s.
It would include communal facilities with new vehicle and pedestrian access, and associated parking.
Villager Sharon Aldersley, who is a leading member of the Keep Kirdford and Wisborough Green campaign, has echoed the sentiments of many people in the rural area.
“Yet another application has been submitted to expand rural villages with the development of houses, this time in the village of Wisborough Green,” she said.
“The proposed site along the Kirdford Road would change the landscape completely.”
While many villages in West Sussex are looking at community-led neighbourhood plans for sustainable housing, the government has also issued new planning guidance emphasising the need to protect the landscape.
Local residents in Wisborough Green, she said, had already democratically decided where development should go over the coming years through their own neighbourhood plan.
They wanted to see a mix of housing for all ages, and more importantly, where green spaces should be protected.
“The emphasis to respect neighbourhood plans should be paramount to prevent unwanted speculative developments outside settlement boundaries of the villages, which residents feel is the case here.
“Over the past few years you only have to look at the huge increase of new housing developments all the way across West Sussex, stretching along the A272 from Billingshurst, Horsham to Crawley.
“We have some beautiful villages in West Sussex, all steeped in history. Let’s stop this continual destruction, depredation and urbanisation by greedy developers.”