Protesters oppose plans for hundreds of homes at Worthing’s Goring Gap

Campaigners have held a series of demonstrations against plans to build hundreds of houses at Goring Gap in West Worthing.

Friday, 18th September 2020, 9:47 am

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes has submitted plans for a 475-home estate on Chatsmore Farm, north of the railway line on the border of Goring and Ferring.

Critics have now joined together to form the Goring Gap Action Group and have distributed thousands of leaflets to residents alongside displaying placards and banners at the roadside.

The action group is formed of representatives from the Goring and Ilex Conservation Group, Goring Residents’ Association, Ferring Conservation Group and local residents’ groups adjacent to the site.

One of the pop-up demonstrations about the Goring Gap development SUS-200918-093659001

David Bettiss, chairman of Ferring Conservation Group, said: “This most unwelcome application by Persimmon has really galvanised local people, and already over 500 individual objections have been submitted to the council. You only have to spend a short time by the road at the Gap to see just how congested it is already, and this is before the likely addition of up to 1,000 vehicles which would result from the development if allowed, and these would mainly access the main road by a single roundabout.

“It would be complete gridlock. And this is before we even consider the loss of the important Gap, loss of agricultural land, the destruction of the local landscape overlooking Highdown, and extra pressure on local doctors, schools and other services.”

Access to the site would be from a new roundabout on Goring Street, while the scheme contains a local centre and extra car parking for Goring-by-Sea Railway Station.

The application includes 30 per cent affordable housing, pedestrian and cycle links to the existing public right of way and the railway station, public open space south of Ferring Rife, a green spine looping around the site and sustainable drainage systems.

Illustrative masterplan

Chatsmore Farm is listed on the draft local plan as a local green space and a local green gap, but Persimmon has argued in its planning application that the new homes can ‘assimilate’ with the surrounding environment.

It also argued the proximity to Goring Railway Station will reduce pressure on local roads and the removal of high voltage power cables as part of the development will actually add to the local aesthetics.

The application has already received more than 730 letters of objection, with none in support as of today (September 18).

David encouraged residents to engage with the opposition. “There has already been much support during the demos by passing drivers, and I would encourage anybody who shares our fears to submit an objection to the council,” he said.

Illustrative artist's impression of the development

“We need to show local planners just how strongly we all feel about something that will affect us all on a daily basis.”

Representations can be made directly to Planning Services at Worthing Borough Council, quoting reference number AWDM/1264/20. This can be done via email at [email protected]

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Chatsmore Farm in Goring Gap where hundreds of new homes are proposed