‘Dangerous’ decking at Burton Mill Pond set for green light


Controversial plans to build a decking platform at Burton Mill Pond in Barlavington for disabled anglers and wildlife watchers looks set to be given the go ahead.

Despite an objection from Sutton and Barlavington Parish Council, Chichester District Council’s planning officers are recommending members of the planning committee to grant permission tomorrow (Friday June 17).

West Sussex County Council wants to build an area of decking in the north west corner of the pond with pedestrian access from the car park north of the pond.

One disabled parking bay would also be created in the car park.

But members of Sutton and Barlavington Parish Council have objected to the plan on the grounds of the dangerous approach to the site.

In a report due to go before the planning committee tomorrow planning offices say the main issues with the proposal are considered to be the impact of the decking, including an intensification of use on the Burton Mill Pond Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the impact on the character and appearance of the wider South Downs national Park and highways safety due to the access to the decking being next to Burton park Road.

The existing access from the car park across Burton Park Road will need to be used and this is close to a sharp bend in the road where visibility is limited.

“This has led to concern being rased at the potential increase in the number of people crossing the road in this location where traffic speeds are thought to be high,” said officers.

But they reported highways officers had consulted the road safety, casualty and collision database and “it has been noted that there have been no recorded accidents in the last three to five years in the vicinity of the application site.”

Officers said the area of decking was to replace a smaller area which meant ‘any harm to the SSSI habitat will be contained to its existing location’. The decking and disabled parking bay were considered an ‘acceptable form of development’.

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