‘Irrational’ Durrington planning decision is challenged

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A CONTROVERSIAL decision to grant planning permission for the building of 700 homes in Durrington is to be challenged in the High Court.

At a meeting of the campaign group Don’t Over Develop Durrington, the committee decided it would appeal the decision of Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee, which granted planning permission for project on October 20.

Following the decision, councillors had to leave through the back exit as tempers among residents flared.

John Hughes, who started Don’t Over Develop Durrington, said: “Although the council’s decision was a month ago residents are still in shock and determined to challenge it.

“They are livid with the council for making such an irrational decision when there is a weight of evidence to indicate the development must not take place.

“During the two-hour meeting, members heard that experts were not able to confirm that parts of Durrington, Northbrook and Box Grove, Goring, were safe from flooding or the fear of becoming un-insurable.”

John said the papers for the High Court appeal needed to be submitted by January 20, after which a decision should be returned within weeks.

He said he had been advised by his solicitor the group had a “good case”.

The current planning application is to be refined by the West Durrington Consortium – the name given to collaborating developers Heron, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon – before full council approval is granted.

The project would involve 700 homes being built near Fulbeck Avenue, with the possibility of a further 300 homes in the future.

John added: “The meeting felt the council was being bullied by the developers and the fear of the cost of an appeal if they rejected the application then subsequently lost an appeal, however unlikely that was.

“Our committee believe they made a financial decision instead of a planning decision.”

Residents who have had problems getting house insurance or have a flood excess, are asked to email dontoverdevelopdurrington@gmail.com or phone 01903 262945.