Kirdford homes proposal ‘flies in the face’ of Neighbourhood Plan

MP Nick Herbert  receives a copy of Kirdford's  Neighbourhood Plan from former parish councillor Josef Ransley in 2014
MP Nick Herbert receives a copy of Kirdford's Neighbourhood Plan from former parish councillor Josef Ransley in 2014

A controversial new homes proposal which flies in the face of the Kirdford Neighbourhood Plan (NP) is set to be given the thumbs up next week.

Chichester District Council’s planning committee will debate on Wednesday, October 11, plans from developer Cala Homes to build 54 homes, including 16 affordable houses in a mixed development of flats, bungalows and two storey homes on land to the east of Plaistow Road.

Officers are recommending the committee to defer the plan for agreement over developers’ contributions and then give it the go ahead.

This is despite strong objections from Kirdford parish councillors who claim it conflicts with their neighbourhood plan policies.

Villagers were among the first to complete their plan which was ‘made’ by the district council three years ago.

They believed it put them in charge of their planning future with polices agreed by the village and backed by the district council. But these are now set to be challenged at Wednesday’s planning meeting.

Their NP housing policy is to develop some 50 homes on the site phased over the next 17 years to the end of the plan period in 2028.

But Cala Homes, which first submitted its plans two years ago, originally wanted to build 54 homes in one phase.

Their latest application is to develop in two phases over the next five years - 32 in the first phase and another 22 in the second.

Kirdford parish councillors claim this would “increase the size of the village by 23 per cent in a very short space of time attracting more than 100 more cars into the heart of the small parish.”

They also say Kirdford has a high proportion of affordable homes some of which lie empty as there is not enough demand for them.

But Cala Homes claims phasing over 17 years is not commercially viable and would “deliberately frustrate the delivery of housing to meet identified need.”

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