Decision due on major housing development near Easebourne

A decision on major housing development near Easebourne is due to be made later this week.

Monday, 13th January 2020, 12:02 pm
Residents objecting to extra development at Easebourne's King Edward VII estate pictured back in September

Developer Probitas is seeking permission for 93 assisted living apartments on land at Kings Green East and 18 terraced assisted living homes on land at Superindendents Drive as ‘enabling development’ to facilitate the fitting out and use the King Edward VII Estate chapel as a restaurant/shop.

Two applications are due to be discussed by the South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee on Thursday January 16.

Officers are recommending refusal in both cases.

A report due to be discussed this week describes how enabling development was approved in 2011 to ensure the restoration and maintenance of a number of heritage assets at the estate.

Since this time a number of subsequent applications have been submitted for amendments to various parcels.

The first application seeks to increase the number of homes at Superintendents Drive from 6 to 18 homes, and an increase from 44 to 93 dwellings at Kings Green East.

A number of objections have been received from residents raising concerns about the level of parking provided, as well as road safety and the effect on the listed buildings.

They also argue that no more development than the quantum permitted in 2011 should be allowed and questioned the claims made about the scheme being true enabling development.

The latter appears to be a point the national park’s planning officers agree with.

In their report they describe how the applications do not provide enough robust evidence that they secure any greater protection of the chapel.

Officers are therefore proposing a refusal ‘in relation to the broad principle of development’.

They wrote: “Given that officers have reached the conclusion that the development cannot be considered as appropriate ‘enabling development’, the proposal involves residential development in the countryside where usually the only type that could potentially be acceptable would be exception housing. The proposal makes no provision for affordable housing and therefore refusal is recommendation on this basis.

“Officers also remain concerned about the layout, landscape and design of the scheme and therefore recommend refusal.”

Easebourne Parish Council has also objected to both applications.

Back in September, residents living nearby expressed their frustration at a lack of meaningful consultation by the developer and raised traffic concerns.

The meeting starts at 10am at the South Downs Centre Hall in Midhurst.