Community groups in Ferring and Goring have vowed to ‘vigorously oppose’ proposals for up to 465 new homes at Chatsmore Farm, which is part of the Goring Gap.
Landowner Persimmon Homes is preparing a planning application for the site in Goring and held a public exhibition on the proposals earlier this week.
Many residents raised concerns over the proposed development – in particular over the impact it would have on local road networks and the pressure it would put on GP surgeries and schools.
The developer has said the scheme would help address ‘the acute housing shortage in the borough’ – but Worthing Borough Council has said that, despite the pressure to build new houses, the emerging Worthing Local Plan proposes to protect the land from development by designating it as a Local Green Gap – read more here.
Community groups have vowed to ‘vigorously oppose’ the development.
Kathryn Walker, chairman of The Goring and Ilex Conservation Group, said: “This is contrary to Worthing’s draft local plan which seeks to preserve both gap sites from development as Local Green Gaps and Local Green Space.
“The Draft Local Plan recognises the importance residents attach to Chatsmore Farm as a visual and historic link to Highdown and a valued open green space.
“All local amenity groups in Goring and Ferring, intend to vigorously oppose this move by Persimmon.”
Sir Peter Bottomley, the MP for Worthing West, said he opposed the scheme and called for the natural gap between Goring and Ferring to be preserved.
Robert Clark, Head of Planning for Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, thanked all the residents who attended the public exhibition on Tuesday, which he said was ‘very well attended’.
In response to some of the concerns raised by residents, he said: “An essential part of Persimmon Homes’ proposed Chatsmore Farm development is that we will work with local authorities to help mitigate any issues that may arise.
“This includes contributing financially to local schools and doctors surgeries, as well as looking to improve the road network surrounding the proposed development.”