Plans to build up to 850 homes west of Chichester have been approved by the district council.
The outline application for the second and final phase of the West of Chichester Strategic Development Location was given the nod by the planning committee on Wednesday (January 10).
The first phase of development was granted planning permission in 2018 and work is well under way, with around 500 people living in the new homes.
The latest application, from Vistry Group and Miller Homes, is for land to the west of Centurion Way, land at Bishop Luffa School, land at and next to Westgate, and land to the north-east of Old Broyle Road and St Paul’s Road.
As well as the new homes, it includes 5.3 hectares of employment land, extensions to the community facility and primary school which were approved for the first phase, open space, including the northern Country Park, and playing pitches.
A spine road – the Southern Access Road – will run from Old Broyle Road to Westgate, with access closed from Clay Lane.
During the meeting, former councillor Richard Plowman called for a condition to be added to the application stating that the access road needed to be completed before any housing construction began.
But his suggestion was not taken up.
In May 2023, in its comments to the council, the Highway Authority stated that there was ‘no valid highway reason’ to hold off on construction until the road was open.
Among the concerns raised by members of the public and councillors were those of flooding, drainage and road safety.
Donna Johnson (Green & Local Alliance, Sidlesham & Selsey North) pointed out that modelling – which can be used to predict things such as traffic levels or flood risks – often did not reflect the everyday experiences of residents.
Regarding the latter, she said: “I would certainly like to see some robust proposals in place to deal with the flooding in the southern area.”
As for traffic, she described the predicted figures as ‘optimistic’ and repeated her concerns about safety.
She said: “More and more of our young people are driving and Chichester College has a massive impact on the amount of traffic movement in that area.”