Developers warned over quality of West Durrington homes
A developers' consortium was warned Worthing expected '˜high quality' housing after council officers spent months negotiating improvements to plans not deemed up to scratch.
The West Durrington development will deliver at least 700 homes on greenfield land, with the first phase under construction.
Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee approved fine details of the next phases on Wednesday.
But councillors heard plans had initially not met the standards pledged the developers as part of the agreed masterplan for the site.
Planning committee chairman Kevin Jenkins said he detected an ‘underlying sense of frustration’ from council planners who had spent months negotiating improvements.
In a warning shot to the developers, he said: “Yes we have to have houses but we expect high quality houses with detail and not a conflict over who has which corner. I think the communication has got to be improved here.”
Councillors were considering a reserved matters application for 444 homes, following earlier approval of 254 homes.
Plans were submitted last week for an extension to the scheme, which could add a further 300 homes.
But when the plans for the latest phase were received, officers said parts bore no relation to the agreed design code.
This included alterations to the scale of buildings and agreed materials such as horizontal boarding not included. Numerous improvements were secured following negotiations.
The committee heard many homes would not meet local or national space standard guidelines – but developers pointed out there was flexibility, improvements had been made and all homes were of ‘good quality’.
Council head of planning and development James Appleton explained the masterplan had split the development into 13 ‘character areas’, ensuring the design was varied.
With more than one developer, there were instances where more than one firm was working on the same character area. He said this had created challenges.
He added: “There has been significant design improvements through many months of negotiation and that is commendable, though I should say that’s only to ensure that the layout and detailed design meets the consortium’s own commitment in the original masterplan and design code.”
The West Durrington Consortium comprises Persimmon, Bovis and Taylor Wimpey.
Land under development is north of Fulbeck Avenue and east of Titnore Lane.
The potential northern extension would see homes built up to the edge of the A27.
The consortium has been contacted for comment.