The land is a field alongside the A281, opposite the junction with Nuthurst Road.
The owner had put forward this site for the Parish’s Neighbourhood Plan. It was assessed as unsuitable on planning criteria and subsequently not included in the Plan.
Following this, the owner applied to Horsham District Council (HDC) for planning permission to build 14 houses on the site. Then the owner put in another planning application, this time for 4 houses. Local people registered a massive number of objections. Both applications were refused by HDC.
In response, two appeals were made by the owner to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. Both appeals were heard together at a Public Hearing on the 7 and 8 January 2016.
Monks Gate Residents’ Association, the Chair of Nuthurst Parish Council (Valerie Court), the Parish’s District Councillor (Toni Bradnum) and myself (Owen Hydes) spoke against the Appeal, as did officers of HDC. The owner put forward the development company, Camebridge Grove, to present her case.
Attendees at the Public Hearing then visited the site so that the Planning Inspector could further assess the arguments put forward by both sides. The Inspector’s Report has not yet been published by the Planning Inspectorate. This time-lapse between appeals and decisions is not unusual.
The Parish worked hard on its Neighbourhood Plan for over two years and very many people became involved. The Plan expresses parishioners’ wishes as to what development they want to see happen in the Parish. The Plan has full legal status having been approved by Horsham District Councillors in October 2015.
It is therefore crucial that this Appeal, which challenges the Parish’s Neighbourhood Plan, is dismissed and that this deters other landowners from taking the same action. The Planning Inspectorate’s decision is awaited and it will be placed on this site as soon as it is available.
Nuthurst Parish councillor and chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
16 Feb 2016
PS. The illegal action of felling trees on this site resulted in the Forestry Commission serving a restocking order. The owner has appealed against this, but this appeal has also yet to be determined.