Agenda item

DC/18/2122 - Land north of Hilland Farm, Stane Street, Billingshurst

Ward: Billingshurst & Shipley

Applicant: Dunmoore


The Head of Development reported that this was a hybrid application comprising two phases:  Phase 1 sought full planning permission for up to 4,998sqm of business and industrial use floor-space, roundabout access junction from the A29 (Stane Street), access, parking, servicing areas and associated landscaping; Phase 2 sought outline permission for up to 14,075sqm of business and industrial use floor-space, petrol filling station with ancillary retail offer and drive through coffee unit, with all matters reserved except for access. 


An addendum to the report had been circulated which included details of: additional representations; an additional regulatory condition required to ensure no buildings or structures were outside specified areas in order to protect the landscape character and the amenities of the public right of way and dwellings to the east; and some minor corrections to the report.


The application site was an undeveloped field approximately 140 metres north of the built-up area Billingshurst, east of Stane Street and south of New Road, a narrow rural road.  A Public Right of Way ran along the eastern boundary. There was some ancient woodland approximately 130 metres north.   Cables from an electricity pylon route crossed the southwest portion of the site.  The site was close to the strategic development for 475 houses to the south that was currently under construction. 


The Parish Council raised no objection to the application. Chichester District Council raised no objection.  There had been 17 public consultation responses objecting to the proposal and two in support of it as set out in the report.  The addendum to the report gave details of two additional letters of support and two further letters of comment, which had been received since publication of the report.  One member of the public spoke in objection to the application and the applicant and the applicant’s agent both addressed the Committee in support of the proposal.  


Members considered the officer’s planning assessment which indicated that the key issues for consideration in determining the proposal were:  the principle of development and the assessment of need; impact on landscape; highways considerations; retail impact; layout and amenity; design and appearance; and drainage and flood risk.  It was noted that whilst the proposal was contrary to the development strategy of the HDPF because the site was in the countryside, a departure from this strategy could be justified should benefits weigh in favour of the proposal. 


Members welcomed the economic benefits of the proposal that would meet the current shortfall in employment floor-space and weighed these against the conflict with policy. 


In response to concerns, officers agreed to amend Condition 20, requiring an air quality mitigation scheme, to ensure that charging points for electric vehicles were located at the petrol filling station as well as the commercial units.




(i)      That a legal agreement be entered into to secure associated highways infrastructure improvements on the A29.


 (ii)    That on completion of (i) above, planning application DC/18/2122 be determined by the Head of Development, in consultation with local Members, with a view to granting permission subject to appropriate conditions, including Condition 62 as set out in the addendum, and an amendment to Condition 20 to secure charging for electric vehicles at the petrol filling station.


(iii)     In the event that the legal agreement is not completed within three months of the decision of this committee, the Director of Place be authorised to refuse permission on the grounds of failure to secure the obligations necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

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