Greenfield site to become housing as plans approved

A development of 240 homes on greenfield land has been approved unanimously.

Friday, 8th December 2017, 4:29 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:36 am

Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the extension of the West Durrington development, with land south, east and west of the Coach and Horses pub, in Arundel Road, which will add to the 700 homes already approved.

Councillors heard how extensive negotiations had secured several changes to the plans, in order to minimise the impact on the South Downs National Park and adjacent Castle Goring conservation area.

Changes included reducing the number of homes from 260 to 240.

The development will help Worthing meet a chronic housing shortage with government targets ‘impossible to meet’.

Head of planning and development James Appleton said Worthing needed to build 636 homes a year to meet demand, according to government data – but a change in how the figure is calculated, currently under consultation, could see that figure jump to 865 a year.

Doug Cramond, agent for the consortium of developers seeking to deliver the plans told the committee housing on the site had been mooted as far back as 1982 when the West Durrington Informal Plan was produced.

He said: “865 new homes (a year) is impossible but this site is a positive step which will gain credit and help with the five-year land supply.”

The development will provide 30 per cent affordable housing – 72 homes in total.

Committee chairman Paul Yallop said: “It is always difficult building on greenfield but we do have a housing need in Worthing and a very large need for affordable housing and this would develop 72 units which will be very welcome.”

Speaking after the meeting last Wednesday, cabinet member for regeneration Kevin Jenkins said: “As a local authority we are committed to making best use of the limited land that we have available for development while making sure we do not damage our unique and special environment.

“A variety of good quality housing is essential. Worthing is a vibrant town and we need to ensure that housing is provided to meet the needs of those wishing to get their first home or step up onto the housing ladder as a homeowner.

“I’m looking forward to seeing spades in the ground on this second phase of the development soon.”