What’s on the development cards for Petworth after new national park document is published

The former Syngenta site at Fernhurst once earmarked for 400 homes has a potential for 200 houses says the park
The former Syngenta site at Fernhurst once earmarked for 400 homes has a potential for 200 houses says the park

SIX sites have been identified in Petworth which could provide 140 homes in the next 15 years. They are:

They are the Square field of open space close to Littlecote – 70 homes; long grass next to Rotherlea – 25; agricultural and grazing land north of Northend Close – 20; residential and grazing land next to the cemetery – 13; residential land at Laundry Cottage and north – seven; disused barn and open space at the back of Rothermead – six; garage court at Marlet Road – five.

Among many sites ruled out are five pieces of land at Quarry Farm, Grove Lane and south, east and west of Grove Lane, all excluded as being previously undeveloped and outside 
the settlement boundary. Three further sites at Hampers Common, next to the former Herbert Shiner school and neighbouring the playing field there, were rejected on the grounds their development would adversely impact on the landscape.

Petworth could see itself taking a hefty chunk of the housing allocation for the area and Town Council chairman Chris Kemp has warned the emerging local plan highlights the need to get a neighbourhood plan in place.

Six sites have been identified in Midhurst which in total would provide 85 homes.

But controversially, the South Downs National Park has rejected the former brickworks and West Sussex County Council highways depot which is being championed by the town council for major mixed development.

The six sites comprise residential land off Petersfield Road for 40 homes, the former youth club, WI hut and tennis court land owned by West Sussex County Council in Lamberts Lane for 15 houses.

In addition there is residential land off Park Crescent for ten, more residential land at Brisbane House, The Fairway for another ten, the garage site at New Road for five and grazing land next to Holmbush Way also for five homes.

The land ruled out at Midhurst includes the former brickworks and the county council highways depot next to it which is up for sale.

The national park said it would mean a loss of employment land and there was no evidence it was available.

But Midhurst town councillors see it as a chance to fulfil major housing and commercial use.

The council decided against a neighbourhood plan and opted to form a small committee to 
have regular talks with the national park over development.

Chairman the Rev David Coote said: “It’s good the SDNP has excluded some sites that are inappropriate for housing.

“It is essential when any development occurs infrastructure needs such as schools and surgeries are seen to be part of the overall plan.

“Our desire to bring together ‘stakeholders’ in the old brickworks site and the highways depot is not included, but if a ‘master plan’ could be put together, housing would be part of it.

“Hopefully something imaginative might emerge which could be included by the SDNP during the consultation period.”

Sites have also been identified in seven villages in the Midhurst and Petworth area. Industrial land on the former Syngenta site at Fernhurst is earmarked for 200 homes and parkland at Fernhurst Glebe for another 13. Former allotment land east of Easebourne has been earmarked with a potential for 14 homes and two paddock, orchard and car park land sites at Fittleworth for six houses on each. Scrubland at Luffs Meadow, Northchapel has been identified for eight and two sites at Parsonage estate, Rogate for 11 homes.

The first glimpse members of the public will have of the local plan containing the park’s preferred options for developoment will be this autumn.

‘Evidence’ documents including the strategic housing land availability assessment are currently being discussed at park planning committees.

Some time in the autumn, the first complete draft of the local plan will be published and go out for public consultation.

In mid-2016, planning officers anticipate publishing their final draft, which will be followed by a formal public consultation.

After this, the plan and any representations received will be submitted to the government’s planning inspectorate.

It will then in examined by a planning inspector at a public inquiry.

If there are no major hitches at the public inquiry, national park planners hope it will be adopted in the spring of 2017.