Housing association Hyde has been slated for allowing garages on its Parsonage estate at Rogate to deteriorate.
Mark Dunn told fellow members of Chichester District Council’s planning committee yesterday (Wednesday, February 1): “It’s a disgrace, an absolute disgrace that a major institution should allow a property, these garages next door to the estate to deteriorate into such a disgraceful condition.”
The committee was debating a plan from Hyde to demolish 24 garages on the Parsonage Estate and build three affordable homes.
Rogate parish councillors were strongly opposed to the plan on the grounds of loss of car parking space and because the site was not included in its emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).
Cllr Dunn said: “The reason for this application is we need affordable housing and this is a site that clearly lends itself to affordable housing. However it is also a site the parish council finds very objectionable.
“It is of the essence when finding affordable housing in rural locations that the whole community of the parish agrees about the siting and the type of affordable housing.”
He added: “I don’t know that local management there is, but I think if we listen carefully to the points made by the parish council we can see this is an opportunistic business.”
Parish councillor Elizabeth Brown told the committee: ”It’s true most of the garages are not used, but that is as a result of poor maintenance and neglect over many years and they are smaller than the current standard. But the lack of use does not indicate a lack of demand.” She said residents now parked on street which created problems for emergency and delivery vehicles
The site was not included in its NDP, she said. The national park was aware of this and in 2015 parish councillors had also told CDC’s housing enabling officer they opposed the Hyde plan. Instead they wanted to see car parking space, workshops and offices for local employment on the site.
Nat King-Smith for Hyde said the parish council had confirmed its support for affordable homes on the site in 2012. The county highways department considered parking there was adequate.
Cllr Gordon McAra said there was a major housing need and it was a ‘good proposal which he supported.
It was approved by the committee.
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