Agenda item

DC/18/1488 - Land east of Coolham Road, West Chiltington

Ward: Chanctonbury

Applicant: Mr & Mrs Wayne Ward


The Head of Development reported that this application sought permission for the stationing of a mobile home and erection of a 2-box stable block and bin store for use as permanent Gypsy accommodation.  An addendum to the report contained an amended description of the application ‘Proposed site for settled gypsy accommodation for 1 pitch with associated stable block’.


The proposal included vehicular access to an area of hardstanding.  The mobile home would be in the north of the site, 15 metres from the boundary with ancient woodland.  Measures had been proposed by the applicant to avoid damage to trees.


The application site was a field located in the countryside, approximately 770 metres north of Thakeham to the east of Coolham Road, which was reached along a shared track.  There were established field boundaries, including trees on the east, west and north boundaries. The nearest residential properties were approximately 140 metres to the north.  The nearby landscape character comprised a number of small-holdings. 


The addendum notified Members of a recommended additional condition requiring details of a 15 metre buffer to the Ancient Woodland and a paddock area east of the site.  This condition would ensure adequate protection of the Ancient Woodland and surrounding countryside.


The Parish Council objected to the application.  Six representations supporting the proposal had been received, including one received after publication of the report. One member of the public spoke in objection to the application and the applicant’s agent addressed the Committee in support of the proposal. A representative of the Parish Council spoke in objection to the application.


Members considered the officer’s planning assessment which indicated that the key issues for consideration in determining the proposal were:  the principle of development; landscape character; trees and landscaping; impact on residential amenity; the highway impacts. 


It was noted that the site was not allocated in the Horsham District Planning Framework as a Gypsy and Traveller site and the proposal was contrary to policies in the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan. 


A motion to defer the item in order to obtain the view of the Information Commissioners Office regarding the decision to consider sensitive personal information in exempt session was put to the Committee; the motion was lost.


The Committee resolved that the press and public be excluded from part of the meeting so that they could consider items the publication of which would be likely to disclose exempt information, on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence, or of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 2 in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The press and public were invited to return to the meeting after consideration of the extenuating personal circumstances outlined in the exempt information and before the determination of the item.


Members considered the site location in relation to local services and facilities, and agreed that the unsustainable nature of the site would not help the applicant in relation to the extenuating personal circumstances.  Members therefore concluded that the proposal was unacceptable.  




That planning application DC/18/1488 be refused for the following reason:


The proposed development is in an unsustainable location remote from services in Thakeham, and school and health facilities, and is not readily accessible by sustainable means. The extenuating circumstances provided by the applicant are not considered sufficient to outweigh this harm. The proposal therefore fails to comply with policies 23 & 26 of the Horsham District Planning Framework and Policy 9 of the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan.

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