Save Our Church Fields

Wisborough Green has been tasked with finding the space for 40 new houses by Chichester District Council (CDC) in its response to the government’s latest target for new homes. In consequence the Parish Council is reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan to which many of you have contributed. In the last consultation you were asked to rank the six available sites and the green fields next to the Church came fifth. The requirement for 40 new homes can be met from the four sites ranked above Church Fields.

Nevertheless, a planning application has been made for 25 new homes on this highly sensitive green field site; the Parish Council voted unanimously to oppose the application and will be lodging a full objection with CDC. However, CDC’s lack of a five year housing land supply means that, despite Wisborough Green’s allocation being met within the revised Neighbourhood Plan from other sites, this site could potentially bypass that process.

If you agree with the Parish Council that the wishes of local people should not be overridden then please can you use the links here to register your objection. We can beat this but it will take a concerted effort by everyone.

Link to the Planning Application: https://publicaccess.chichester.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=QPASOZERMPL00&activeTab=summary

Link to make a comment on this application: https://publicaccess.chichester.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=makeComment&keyVal=QPASOZERMPL00

You will need to register to comment.

CDC HAS EXTENDED THE RESPONSE DEADLINE TO THE 20TH MAY 2021.

Some people have experienced difficulties registering on the CDC website. If you have a problem, please email your response, to include the application number 21/00621/FUL (Land East of St Peter’s Church, Wisborough Green, to: dcplanning@chichester.gov.uk

 

General Points:

  • Keep comments short and to the point.
  • Stick to planning matters such as the attributes of the scheme and buildings or its impact on views or neighbouring buildings.
  • Mainly comment on issues that are significant, try to avoid trivial things.
  • Always read the application documentation and look at the plans first.

Comments to consider are included below; it’s important to select a few and put them in your own words.

  1. The scheme goes against local policy; it is completely contrary to the Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan which was adopted by Chichester District Council in 2016
  2. This site is adjacent to Wisborough Green’s Conservation Area, which includes a substantial number of Grade II listed properties; indeed, it is fair to suggest that the ‘graveyard extension’ has only been included to ensure that the proposed site is attached to the Settlement Boundary.
  3. The site currently supports at least 5 species of bat; including the very rare Barbastelle bat which is on the ‘red list’ of endangered species.
  4. Historic England, in their objection have said that this development “will cause harm” to the significance to both our church and our Conservation Area. Also, Historic England “disagree with the conclusion in the Built Heritage Statement that the level of harm caused by the proposal will be at a low level”.
  5. This development is destroying what makes Wisborough Green, Wisborough Green: this site is incredibly historically important, the hill on which it stands is what actually gives Wisborough Green its name. ‘Wisborough’ is derived from the Saxon words ‘wisc’ a river meadow and ‘beorg’ a hill.
  6. This site is adjacent to and meets the boundary of St Peter ad Vincula, Wisborough Green’s 12th Century, that’s around 900 years old, church. Literally, is nothing sacred.
  7. This is an unpopular site that has been shown to not command public support.
  8. The Neighbourhood Plan review process is happening, and the public has already voted, twice, for the sites they want. These 25 houses would be in excess of the 40 homes that have been allocated to Wisborough Green, and the Neighbourhood Plan Review is set to deliver this number in smaller, community supported sites.
  9. Agricultural fields surrounded the church, and this proposal will remove this historic setting entirely.
  10. The site could not be more sensitive given how close it is to the church, the important views and because it is surrounded on three sides by much valued and enjoyed footpaths.  This sensitivity seems to have been very much downplayed in the documentation.
  11. The landmark view of the church and spire will no longer be visible from the much used & enjoyed footpaths bordering the proposed housing site.  These are views that are recognised in the Neighbourhood Plan and Village Design Statement and even where these are just glimpses they are important and characterful.
  12. A number of Grade II listed properties are within close proximity of the site. (High Barn is approximately 100metres and Champions Farmhouse is approximately 200metres).
  13. The site currently contains 3 designated ‘important’ hedgerows, part of which are to be removed, permanently.
  14. The view out towards open agricultural fields from the footpath running east of the church will be replaced with views of roads and buildings.
  15. The quiet and tranquil enjoyment of the churchyard will be removed.
  16. The height of the buildings are excessive especially along the east boundary where they appear to start as close as 13m from the bridleway and as high as 9.5m.  This is effectively 10.5m from the bridleway which is lower than the field.
  17. The tranquillity of the bridleway will be ruined.
  18. The layout doesn’t allow any views through the site from the perimeter instead of the existing views. All that will be seen is built form.
  19.  The church spire should be the dominant feature in this historic setting and this will be lost permanently.
  20. The footpath that runs through the churchyard from the historic core and conservation area is a direct link between these and its historic rural setting of open farmland.  This experience will be permanently lost with walkers instead experiencing modern buildings and not open fields.  This is the only footpath where this experience is enjoyed and is much traversed.
  21. The developer makes a case that this and the field immediately north of the site is included in the HELAA (Housing and Economic Land Allocation) for up to 80 houses.  This implies that once this scheme is built a further application would come forward for another 65 houses on the field to the north.  As this field is even further from the church and conservation area there would be nothing to stop it being approved.  The accumulated harm would permanently destroy the rural setting of the village and conservation area.
  22. The proposals say the footpath that runs alongside the church will be made into a paved surface.  This will lose the rural nature of this walk and who will maintain it when the cows cover it in mud and muck or are cows no longer going to be a feature of this landscape?
  23. The Bonfire Field is proposed as a graveyard extension, right next to the primary school and home to the school’s fireworks fundraising night.
  24. The use of the field between the church and school as a future graveyard is not compatible.  Will children have to be silent at playtime or when playing sport if there is a funeral? It also won’t be needed for 100 years, or longer, given the available space in the existing churchyard.
  25. There are plenty of places for quiet reflection around the existing church which is never crowded.  Using the field between the school and church for this purpose isn’t needed and would be noisy with all the kids running around in the playground and field.
  26. The Scots Pine in the field is a significant tree and a local focal point, it should be kept.
  27. The long terrace of plots 22-25 at a height of nearly 9m is out of keeping with the village vernacular and against the guidance in the Village Design Statement which says they should be low and short.  The rear elevation of these plots facing the footpath is a bland and featureless significant expanse of brick.  The side elevations appear incomplete with part of the rear missing; their form is completely unbalance between front and rear.
  28. No hedge or fence is shown on the landscape plane on plot 15s eastern boundary – what will this be?  Fencing would bring an urban feel to this bridleway.
  29. Cars and vans parked in the car park behind plot 19 will be unsightly from the bridleway and spoil the tranquillity.