Land at the rear of 32 to 56 Mill Road, Westbourne

Westbourne Community Trust has now revised its proposals for affordable homes. Changes have been made to take into account, residents comments made on the draft proposals during the consultation in July 2019 and the discussions that have since taken place with the Planning Team at Chichester District Council. We have also commissioned detailed work from specialist consultants to inform the approach to the scheme and to support the planning application that will be submitted in due course.

Front elevation of Houses 1-4

Image 1 of 4

The full architectural illustrations can be viewed through the following link:

Architectural designs

The revised scheme is substantially similar to the July 2019 proposals and includes the following features

  • 12 new affordable homes to rent to local people including
    • two 3-bed homes
    • four 2-bed homes
    • six 1-bed homes
  • The new homes will be highly energy efficient, low carbon and incorporate renewable energy generation
  • Parking for the new homes
  • Parking for the allotments and the users of the park
  • New off-street parking spaces on Mill Road to ease parking congestion
  • New play equipment in the park to replace existing equipment
  • A new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) to replace the existing hard court
  • A new repositioned skate park
  • A new jogging circuit around the park
  • A new storage unit for the allotments and the Parish Council
  • New fencing along the boundary to the allotment site
  • A new pedestrian footpath link from the park into the school playground

Our architects are still working on the final details of the scheme that will be submitted for planning permission in a few weeks’ time. For example, the proposed layout of off-street parking space in Mill Road may need to be changed when we have more information about the exact location of services within the grass verges. 

Before we finalise the design, we would like to take your comments into account so please let us know your views or ask questions about the scheme using the form below and we will respond to the points raised as appropriate. 

We would like to prioritise comments and questions to residents in the local vicinity of Mill Road and then from the wider Westbourne community we therefore ask that you provide you address within the comment box provided (we will remove your address before posting your comment to the site). Please submit your questions and comments below.

The consultation will close on the 29th March 2020. No comments after that date will be responded to.

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Affordable Homes for Local People

34 thoughts on “Affordable Homes for Local People

  • 20th March 2020 at 12:25 pm
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    Can we have a plan of the off road parking in mill road

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    • 20th March 2020 at 1:43 pm
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      We have shown 26 off street parking spaces along Mill Road on the layout plan which you can see on the website if you click on the green text “Architectural designs”. This shows the full layout of the site including Mill Road. At present we are waiting for the survey results to come back to show the position of underground services that may affect the proposed position of these parking spaces. If we have to make any changes to this layout we will let the residents of Mill Road know.

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  • 20th March 2020 at 1:18 pm
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    Will the off-street parking plans for Mill Road and Churcher Road be available for the residents to comment before the plans are submitted to the council?

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    • 20th March 2020 at 1:41 pm
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      We have shown 26 off street parking spaces along Mill Road on the layout plan which you can see on the website if you click on the green text “Architectural designs”. This shows the full layout of the site including Mill Road. At present we are waiting for the survey results to come back to show the position of underground services that may affect the proposed position of these parking spaces. If we have to make any changes to this layout we will let the residents of Mill Road know.

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      • 20th March 2020 at 2:26 pm
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        Thank you for your comments.
        The original plans showed parking allocation along Churcher Road and Mill
        Road near River Street. Is there now no consideration being given for off-street parking for these areas?
        Is the parking going to be implemented before or after the new proposed housing is built?
        Who will be entitled to apply to live in these properties and how will you allocate?

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        • 20th March 2020 at 3:34 pm
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          We do not rule out providing some parking in Churcher Road and higher up Mill Road, but at this stage we want to know exactly where the underground services are. We have yet to start work on a construction programme so we do not know the order in which things will be built. We know that parking in Mill Road is a priority for residents and it will be provided before the new houses are occupied if not sooner. We will have a letting policy related to the allocation of the houses. The allocations will be decided by the Trust not by any other organisation and our policy will favour those living in the Parish or with close family connections.

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  • 20th March 2020 at 3:49 pm
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    Hi I live on the corner of mill road and churches road and my concern is about leaving the green corners I have looked after my side for many years like my neighbors and living here I know that if you widen the road between churches road and the school it will become a race track as it will increase people’s speed as they use this as a short cut instead of going through the village square I have spoke the the others who live on the corner and we all agree with this so would like to know more about what is going to happen

    Thanks

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    • 20th March 2020 at 4:08 pm
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      Yes we agree about those green corners they look good and we do not want to change that. It would also not be safe to have parking right on the corners. We do not want to widen Mill Road either and can see your point about a possible rat run.

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  • 20th March 2020 at 5:30 pm
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    The plans look good, and should be an improvement to the area as long as the parking is addressed which you are looking to do hopefully. There needs to be more parking spaces available that are currently available now. It’s tricky to see on the design, but are you looking to widen Mill Road? We live near the end of Mill Road, just before the bend into the park and allotments, and have a driveway we use to park our cars in (currently 2, but soon to be 3), but we are concerned we will loose this space. Using a shared space could be a real issue, as neighbors often have friends parking on the green space in front of our house , and more than likely will take over all available shared spaces.

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    • 21st March 2020 at 9:36 am
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      Glad you like the plan, we aim to build good quality homes for local people that the community can be proud of. We do not intend to widen Mill Road only to provide new spaces on part of what is currently the grass verge area. I will contact you separately about the impact on the driveway to your own property but I do not think there is any change to this. The demand for spaces on Mill Road is obviously very significant but we think our proposals will at least make for an improvement on the current situation.

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  • 20th March 2020 at 7:00 pm
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    Affordable housing is important but at what cost.? The loss of a important local community space should not proceed.

    I oppose this plan. The community trust should rethink its proposal. I cannot believe they majority of the village are in support.

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    • 21st March 2020 at 9:50 am
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      Any loss of open space is regrettable but in this case the Trust consider that the community interest is well served by providing much needed affordable housing for local people who could not otherwise secure a home for rent or purchase in the village. It is also the case that there is no expectation that affordable homes can be provided elsewhere in the village and we think this justifies losing some of the open space. The Trust is also in a position to provide some new public open space in another part of the village which will in part compensate for the lost open space but we agree that the Mill Road Park is is a valued asset for village. It will be retained although reduced in size by this proposal. We will also invest in the park by replacing the outdated equipment and facilities and adding new features like a jogging track. When we consulted the local community on our first draft scheme in July 2019, a very good turnout was achieved and there were 58 responses received of which 49 supported the scheme. The responses came from both residents nearest to the site and from across the community. The results of the consultation have been fully detailed on our website and have not been selectively chosen or restricted to omit negative responses.

      Reply
  • 21st March 2020 at 8:23 am
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    How many parking spaces will be provided for the 12 new houses and how many additional parking spaces for the park and the allotments? Please state if you are counting the parking in Mill Road in this number.

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    • 21st March 2020 at 9:57 am
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      We are proposing 26 new parking spaces along Mill Road for existing residents. The layout and actual numbers of spaces may change when we know more information about the exact position of services under the ground. This survey work is due back shortly. Within the park area we are providing a further 22 spaces. These will be for the new dwellings, the visitors to the park and the allotments. The allotments will retain a vehicle access to their site.

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      • 26th March 2020 at 7:10 am
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        If the 12 new houses have two cars each , which is not an unreasonable assumption, they will use up all of the 22 new parking spaces and there will be no parking spaces for the allotments and the park. This will mean that users of the allotments and the park plus visitors to the new houses will have to park in Mill Road. The 26 new spaces in Mill Road will be used by the existing residents who currently park on grass verges and the roadside. Please explain where users of the park and allotments are expected to park. At times I have seen the current car park full so this could be quite a large number of additional cars being forced to park in Mill Road and will make an already difficult parking situation even worse.

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        • 26th March 2020 at 10:56 am
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          Please see the response to similar comments from Dave and Christa Reeve. We believe that our proposals should make for a significant improvement to the parking problems that Mill Road residents currently experience. We also think that we are providing sufficient spaces for the new houses, the park and the allotments.

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  • 25th March 2020 at 7:44 am
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    Again would still like to see more about Mill Road Parking.
    Dont think 22 spaces for the new dwellings is going to be enough if they have to cover allotments and visitors.
    Most households have 2 cars making roughly 24 spaces needed for dwellings alone.
    Allotments people often drive to bring up there things for using sometimes the car park full.
    Plus you want it for park visitors too.

    If being used for school too will there be times public cannot use park (school times).

    Will there still be allowed dog walking most people do but lots people dont pick up dog mess is it safe for school to use.

    Like the plans just feel lots more things need to be addressed.

    Will there be benches for picnics.

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    • 26th March 2020 at 10:40 am
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      It’s great that you like the plans for the new housing.

      The parking for the houses, the park and the allotment should be sufficient in our view. The scheme is designed to meet the Council’s parking standards. 6 of the new houses are small one bed properties and we only anticipate one car per unit for these houses. Also we can and will control the number of cars for each property through the tenancy agreement. The architects are still working on the parking requirements and we will consider carefully the comments that have been made. The actual layout and number of spaces may change by the time we submit our planning application. We have monitored the use of the parking space for the allotments and the park and believe that we have provided enough spaces to meet the demand from these uses on an everyday basis. Quite a number of allotment holders take their cars onto the allotment to deliver large items and plants or to park up whilst they are working on their plot. This will continue to be possible. We hope that the new gated access to the school will encourage more safe walking to school. If parents use the car park to drop off children via the new gateway into the school playground, at a level that causes problems, this is something that will be managed through the school. They can be asked not to open the gate for this purpose.

      Dog walkers will continue to be able to use the park and there will be waste bins for disposing of “dog poo”. We will, in partnership with the Parish Council, always encourage and educate dog owners to behave responsibly on this issue. We will also ensure there are benches for picnics etc.

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    • 28th March 2020 at 11:56 am
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      I disagree with adequate parking spaces.
      We live next to the park and often the car park is full of cars. Even cars parking down the side of the road. That’s not even peak time.
      It will make it worse when houses there as that will be a main access road to get to houses too not just for park and allotments.
      When people park along side of road it’s not a problem but u wouldnt get emergency vechicles down there too.
      I understand the congestion at the school mornings and afternoon and childrens safety. But if parents again are going to use back entrance this will just cause more congestion in top mill road area. More cars at the top end just moving problem from River street to Top of Mill road.
      I’m sure there is more land in Westbourne what about Toombes top of cemetery lane. By lingfield close. I know they were trying to sell .
      Really the monks Hill Park and Mill road Park is really all the green land we have left in westbourne.
      We not against houses just very concerned about roads and congestion.

      Who chooses who goes in the properties u say westbourne people but who chooses them. Is it a village discussion or just who u feel suits
      Thank you.

      Reply
      • 29th March 2020 at 10:13 am
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        The concern about the amount of parking space provided is noted. We will refer this to our architects and consider the scope for increasing the parking provision.

        We have searched thoroughly for alternative sites in the village and cannot find a suitable alternative. The site you refer to as the “Toombes” land is a site proposed to be allocated in The Neighbourhood Plan and a major housebuilding company already holds an option to purchase this site. Various restrictions apply to the site following an appeal for 28 units that was dismissed and which suggests that the number of houses will be significantly less than 28. The Neighbourhood Plan indicated that the site should be developed for 6 units. In any event it is not available to the Trust and will provide little or no affordable housing.

        The letting of the proposed houses will be covered by a lettings policy that the Trust will prepare. It will favour local people or close relatives of local people who cannot afford to buy or rent a home locally. The decision on allocations will be decided by the Trust alone. Anyone from the community can become a member of the Trust and put themselves forward to be a trustee with a direct say in the management and running of the trust. Indeed we would welcome such involvement from anyone with the interest and skills to offer.

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  • 26th March 2020 at 11:19 am
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    Have you considered the proximity of the river? Whether the new houses would be at risk of flooding and whether the knock on effect of building on a green parkland space could put nearby houses at increased risk of flooding?

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    • 26th March 2020 at 12:36 pm
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      Yes we have looked very carefully at the issue of flood risk related to the River Ems. We would not proceed unless we were confident that the proposed homes were safe in this respect. We commissioned a lot of work from specialist consultants to look at this issue. We have undertaken a strategic flood risk assessment that looks at the wider issues. We have also commissioned a detailed site specific flood risk assessment that looks at the flood risks that could affect the site and the houses proposed. We have some recommendations arising from this work that we will include in the design of the scheme. Finally on this subject we also carried out a Sequential Flood Risk Assessment that considered whether there are any alternative sites in Westbourne that are available for our development proposal at a lower flood risk, but there are no such sites available. All of these reports will be submitted to support our planning application.

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      • 27th March 2020 at 10:39 am
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        The new properties will be built on a flood zone. I’ll be interested to see how your multiple reports prove that to be safe once they are published. Those who live nearby may not agree that the lack of an alternative site justifies additional flood risk to existing properties.

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        • 28th March 2020 at 10:44 am
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          As part of the work we have undertaken on flood risk we wanted to be sure that the proposal will not in anyway increase the flood risk for existing residents. The results of this work confirm that the proposal will not increase flood risk. One of the issues we face in finding a site is that most of the village lies within a flood zone, so most potential sites within or adjacent to the settlement boundary face this issue. From the work we have carried out in a sequential test we cannot identify an alternative suitable site that is at a lower flood risk.

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  • 27th March 2020 at 2:57 pm
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    I shall continue to object to the principle of any development of Westbourne’s already limited public open space.

    As you already know Chichester’s Open Space Study of September 2018 confirms that Westbourne already has a shortfall of Amenity Green space. This development will further exacerbate this issue.

    This site is not allocated in the local plan, will be a blight onto the views of the National Park and is outside the settlement boundary.

    As I have repeatedly stated I am not against the principle of the CLT bringing forward a site in the village, but this is the wrong site. There is a common misconception that in future another developer will build more on the park than the CLT. In planning terms that is completely wrong as the site is not allocated and outside the settlement boundary, so planning consent would not be granted to any private developer.

    In reference to this site The Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan Site Assessment clearly states, that ‘there are sequentially preferable sites’.

    It is unacceptable that at a time when people are very anti additional housing being built in our village that a CLT is actively considering developing our limited open space. Further work should be carried out on securing another site which is already allocated in the local plan. Development of an allocated site would reduce open market housing whilst also achieving the aim of the CLT to provide affordable units. A full financial appraisal of the alternative sites should be publicly available for comment so that the local community can consider fully the genuine choice for where they would like their housing to be developed.

    Lastly the CLT needs to publish in full its detailed plan for who controls, manages, completes maintenance and allocates any affordable housing built by the CLT, wherever that might be. The local community need this information in order to take a reasoned decision on the quality, or otherwise of the affordable housing, that is being proposed on this or any other site.

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    • 28th March 2020 at 10:38 am
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      Any loss of open space is regrettable and the Trust understands this. The quality and usefulness of an open space is also a factor and we would argue that even though our proposal would reduce the size of the open space the investment we propose will significantly improve its quality. The Trust is also in a position to provide some new public open space in another part of the village which will in part compensate for the reduced open space at Mill Road. A further consideration is that a large area (42 acres) of public open space has recently been created on the edge of the village at Hampshire Farm Meadows. Although this is within Havant, the Greening Westbourne Group have been actively involved in managing and improving this large open space as it is seen as making a valuable contribution to the Village open space needs. Work is ongoing by Greening Westbourne to improve direct access to Hampshire Farm Meadows from the heart of the village.

      It is also true that the village has a significant shortfall in affordable houses that are genuinely available for local people who want to stay in the village but cannot secure homes to purchase or rent on the open market. This has a serious effect on the vitality and prosperity of our community and particularly affects young people and young families including the children of existing residents. We have searched very hard to find an alternative site but without any success. The work we have done on this search is set out in the Sequential Test which will be submitted with our planning application. Your suggestion that the Neighbourhood Plan indicates that there are sequentially preferable sites is not correct. If you know of one please tell us and we will look at it. The only 2 new sites coming forward in that plan for new housing are in private ownership and they are expected to be developed for market housing with little or no affordable housing included. In both cases these sites are not available to the Trust and we would not be able to purchase them at market value.

      Although this site at Mill Road is not allocated in either the Chichester Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan, it is correct to say that it was a prime candidate for allocation and was only excluded at the last minute from the Neighbourhood Plan because another site just off North Street (now built as The Shire) was allowed at appeal just prior to the plan being finalised for submission. This appeal decision provided sufficient numbers of new dwellings to result in the exclusion of the Mill Road site. It is also true that about 7 years ago Chichester District Council approached the Parish Council about the prospect of surrendering their lease of the site to enable a redevelopment scheme for 20 to 25 houses. That did not proceed but it indicates that the site has been considered for housing development by Chichester in the recent past.

      In the Chichester District Local Plan there is a policy provision for “exception sites” to be developed as affordable housing on land which is not allocated. It is by this policy that we are bringing forward our proposal.

      With regard to your point about the impact on the National Park we have thought carefully about this. With the agreement of the adjacent landowner we propose to plant a significant tree screen along the boundary in the field approximately 10m in depth to improve the screening.

      Finally in relation to your concerns about control and management of the proposed housing and its allocation, all of these matters will be in the direct control of the Trust. Anyone from the community can become a member of the Trust and put themselves forward to be a trustee with a direct say in the management and running of the trust. Indeed we would welcome such involvement from anyone with the interest and skills to offer. The trust and its affairs are entirely community owned and controlled, we are a community led charitable trust.

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      • 28th March 2020 at 7:01 pm
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        I am afraid we are going to have to agree to disagree on the suitability of this site; Turning to your specific points;

        I believe any sequential test should be available for public review/consultation prior to submission of any planning application.

        I would refer to you page 55 of the Westbourne Neighbourhood plan 2017 to 2029 which clearly states there are ‘sequentially preferable sites’

        What is the point of the Neighbourhood plan consultation if an unelected group then decide to ignore it and propose to develop a site that was safeguarded within it?

        I am sceptical that a genuine effort has been made to acquire one of the alternative sites and believe it is the Trusts responsibility to the local community to prove they have done so. The ‘Exception Site’ rule requires an ‘Economic Viability’ and this should compare the alternative sites with the Mill road site to confirm which would be the best use of tax payers money.

        Lastly you say the Trust will be in direct control of the housing once built. Chichester District Council Adopted Local plan 2014 to 2029 section 17.23 confirms that to meet an ‘Exception Site’ criteria the site ‘must be owned and managed by an approved Registered Provider’ which I don’t believe the Trust is. This is in direct conflict with the Trust saying it will be in ‘direct control’ of the housing as by definition if it is in control and owns the freehold then any planning application should be refused. Furthermore if planning consent is granted on this basis the consent will not stand scrutiny to Judicial Review.

        If there is to be an Registered Social Landlord managing the site the community should be made aware in advance.

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        • 29th March 2020 at 11:08 am
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          The sequential test has been prepared by professionally by Planning Consultants on our behalf and will be submitted with the planning application. At that point it will be available for public inspection and comment.

          Yes we are aware that the Neighbourhood Plan makes that statement on page 55 and it is correct in its context at that time. We take that as the starting point for our search for suitable sites for development of affordable housing. We have come to the conclusion that there is no other allocated or unallocated site that is sequentially preferable and available to the Trust for the development it proposes. As mentioned in response to your first comment this site at Mill Road was a prime candidate for a housing allocation in the search for sites as part of the Neighbourhood Plan and only excluded from allocation immediately prior to submission. Furthermore it has been identified by Chichester some 7 years ago as a potential development site and they approached the Parish Council who are currently the leaseholder, about the prospect of a development of 20 to 25 dwellings.

          We are aware of the requirements of Local Plan policy regarding exception sites, viability and about being a Registered Provider. As a community land trust we will ensure that all properties remain available as affordable houses in perpetuity and any planning permission we achieve will be covered by a legal agreement imposed by the Council to secure these objectives in any event. We are not a registered provider at this point in time but we intend to make application to become a registered provider at the appropriate time. We do not intend to become a partner organisation to any other Registered Social Landlord / Housing Association.

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          • 29th March 2020 at 12:22 pm
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            Further to the most recent comments I strongly urge the trust to be as transparent and open with this process as possible. In particular the sequential test which has been prepared professionally by planning consultants on your behalf should be made public before being submitted with the planning application. As this would show your willingness to be transparent or at least give a reason why not . Of course individuals have an opportunity again to comment once available for public inspection and comment. But I feel your missing the point as once submitted it is available for comment beyond Westbourne.
            Also in previous responses regarding parking concerns you have indicated you will let residents know. May I suggest in future you use the term consult as the basic principle of the trust is to represent the village. Also there seems to be no transparency on current expenditure and or public financial statements on this process and the overall costings being estimated . I believe government grant’s are being used for this.
            Your comment regarding the meadows again misses the obvious they are in Hampshire. So should not be used as a alternative for green space as I believe Westbournevillage in in Wedt Sussex.
            So I finally come back to my over arching concern of transparency of this whole process.
            As an end point in light of current national events wouldn’t it be in the public interest to delay this for a further 2 weeks and readvertise it within the village using both social media platforms and posters. .

          • 30th March 2020 at 12:11 pm
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            We will be as open and transparent as possible. We have now undertaken 3 rounds of public consultation on our proposals for the Mill Road project and we take all comments made very seriously and have adapted our proposals in response to these comments. For instance proposing 26 new off street parking spaces on Mill Road which formed no part of our original proposals. We have also responded to concerns about construction traffic to negotiate an alternative route so that such vehicles will not have to come through Mill Road during the construction programme. In response to recent comments about parking space for the park and allotments we have asked our architects to look at the scope to modify the layout and increase the number of spaces. So we do take consultation seriously.

            On the question of alternative sites we have used the Neighbourhood Plan site search as a starting point. We have looked at 37 potential sites in and around the village. We have also frequently asked for anyone in the community who knows of a suitable site for our affordable housing project to let us know and we will follow it up. The constraints on development and the availability of land make finding such a site very difficult. When we submit our planning application the sequential test will be available for anyone to see and comment on. Chichester DC will ultimately have to assess whether our work on this sequential test has been thorough and comprehensive as part of making a decision on our application.

            Our financial resources are mainly dependent on public funding. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and have been approved as a charitable organisation by HMRC. The rules of our organisation are published on our website including requirements for an Annual General Meeting and the publishing of accounts. Because we are a newly formed organisation we have yet to hold an AGM or publish accounts but will do so later this year. We ensure that we use competitive processes for all contracts and use public grant funding effectively. We have to do this in order to secure the grant funding that we rely on.

            With regard to the Hampshire Farm Meadows it is acknowledged that this land is not within the Parish but it is also true that it is new open space of value to our community and well used by Westbourne residents. As mentioned, the Greening Westbourne group have been very actively involved in its management and improvement.

            The current restrictions on public meetings did affect our approach to holding this 3rd round of public consultation. We planned to hold a drop in event in the Primary School as we did last time when many people came and strong local support was shown for our proposal. However there has been more than a week of online consultation. All residents close to the site in Mill Road, Akela Way, Churcher Road and Kingfisher Drive received a letter informing them of the consultation arrangements. The community will continue to be able to respond to the planning application once it is submitted.

          • 29th March 2020 at 8:59 pm
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            I object to the current plan, it feels to me that lip service has been paid throughout. It should be resubmitted with less numbers and another site looked at? I note there is development for potential planning and build in the Toombes Lane area. Could the Trust not go into partnership with the developer in order to take a % stock of houses, we have seen this successful partnership on Military and Housing Association dwellings in Tidworth.

            If the Trust intends on becoming the registered provider and not moving to a Social Landlord or HA, who will be responsible for the repairs, maintenance and grounds maintenance around these new dwellings or will they fall in to disrepair?

            However…

            Reading all of the above comments and the replies from the Trust it becomes quite clear that the decision to undertake this build of 12 dwellings is nothing more than a formality or paperwork exercise despite anything said by the local homes owners and tenants.

            No real consideration has been given to the affect that these building works will have on those of us that reside here.

            There is no concern or consideration that the area is already used as cut through therefore this will only increase traffic through construction vehicles and onsite workers. Post building works it will increase the volume and speed up traffic placing children in to further danger.

            The area is already congested; allotments, park area, school pick up and drop off with no parking , a Cubs/Scouts group in an already busy and congested estate which is also used as a cut through from the Chi road to Westbourne Village and Emsworth; however, we should shoe horn in another 12 dwellings?

            The parking spaces will not be in place until after the build is completed therefore placing the Mill road (and others) vehicles at risk increased and larger construction traffic. Furthermore a large case of double standards, when we applied to drop the curb and bring our wall forward as part of our own parking solution (junction of Mill/Churcher) the Parish Council didn’t oppose but also didn’t support our proposal, we were told by the Council planners that do so would, “remove the open feel to the area” therefore were not permitted to advance this plan.

            There is also potential that ill feeling, animosity and worse could be created by the location and lack of the planned parking spaces both on the street and around the dwelling/park/ allotment area. The plan, numbers and impact should be reconsidered.

            It is typical of that those that don’t live here get to make decisions as it has no bearing on them or the area they live in.

            I manage a large mixed use development in London with private and HA (shared & tenanted) properties including a parking facility and can see some of the issues this creates which are similar to the above. I would consider applying to become a member of the Trust however due to works timings and young family I could not give the justice and time it deserves, apologies.

            What impact will Covid 19 have on the project;

            Planning etc, must be more difficult and drawn out?
            The build and works.
            Current Government advice is for people not to move etc.

            Best,
            GW

          • 30th March 2020 at 12:19 pm
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            The housing needs survey undertaken by Chichester DC in the Parish in late 2018 showed an unmet need for affordable housing of 53 households. So whilst our proposal will make a significant contribution it will not deal with all of that unmet need. We are trying to strike a balance between retaining an improved and substantial public open space whilst providing a viable and significant contribution to the affordable housing needs of the community.

            We have conducted an extensive search of potential sites in the Parish looking at 37 parcels of land. We started by looking at the work undertaken on the Neighbourhood Plan which included a thorough and extensive search for housing sites. We have frequently asked if anyone knows of an alternative site and we will look at it. It is not yet clear what will happen on the Tombes land. We know that 28 units have been dismissed at appeal. The Neighbourhood Plan suggested 6 units on that site. The final number may be somewhere in between but could also be below the threshold where any affordable units have to be included on site. Even if the developer secures permission for a number above the threshold let’s say 18 units, that would only require provision of 3 affordable units on site. This would be woefully short of what is needed. We cannot purchase this land at its market value and do not know when and if it will come forward.

            With regard to maintenance of the units we intend to set up a maintenance contract with a local suitably qualified company. The dwellings and the grounds will be well maintained.

            We have not approached this exercise as a formality. We have consulted the community and in particular the residents nearest to the site (Mill Road, Churcher Road, Akela Way and Kingfisher Drive) on 3 occasions. We have taken all comments made very seriously and adapted our proposals to the comments that have been made. For instance proposing 26 new off street parking spaces on Mill Road which formed no part of our original proposals. We have also responded to concerns about construction traffic to negotiate an alternative route so that such vehicles will not have to come through Mill Road during the construction programme. We have not yet prepared the programme of construction and will do all we can to provide the off street parking spaces as soon as possible in our programme. With regard to the parking in the park and allotment area we have asked our architects to consider modifying the layout to increase the number of these spaces again in response to local comment.

            We cannot agree with your comment about decisions made by those that don’t live here if by that you mean the Trustees of WCT. We are from the local community and most of us live in the village. We are taking this work forward in the interests of the community and for no other reason.

  • 30th March 2020 at 1:37 pm
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    We are deeply concerned about this building project and before I detail my objections I just wanted to say that the inference about the fact that not too many people have replied previously to these surveys would perhaps seem to somehow endorse the project as way of silent majority in favour. this is a dangerous assumption and is misleading. A lot of people might want to object but perhaps with very busy lives and families, work commitments these things can and do go by the wayside.
    20 years ago when we bought our property from the developer we were told emphatically that some of the profit from the building project was going to be rolled into a fund to build a sports pavilion on the very same piece of land that has been earmarked for this new development. This was a planning condition and the developers were obliged to give something back to the community. I have questioned the parish council as to what has happened to this fund but no one seems to know and I find this disturbing though some of that money may well have gone into the play areas as they stand today. This is not something we can let go of easily as this was for the community and local people. Let alone the non existence of the sports pavilion, the soft play and games areas have been given to the people and we should not allow them to be taken.
    We have used the play area with our children over the last 17 years, had picnics on the grass by the trees next to the allotments. Our families have played cricket and Rounders on the grass pitch and our son with his friends most days will have a game of football as indeed other children do. If we are to lose this rich and safe play area its gone forever and the children will have to go right to the other end of the village if they want to exercise or socialise, now are they going to be motivated to do this, I would question this and say probably no, therefore this leads us to have yet more children at risk of obesity and lack of exercise and all the other known problems with children who have no place to have fun and run around in. This means they are further away from safety of their homes and contact. We will lose the excellent hard court basketball and tennis court and all to be replaced with a running track, well big deal, not everyone wants to trot round a track, but in fact the track sounds like an after thought- oh well we can build a track to ‘keep them happy’.
    What about the drainage facilities? Our properties are lower than the park area and if the grass area is removed the absorption ability and run off may well blight the residents of Kingfisher Drive in years to come, especially with global warming and the almost inevitable future flooding that is forecast.

    I totally agree that there should be provision of affordable local housing but come on, just because this is council land doesn’t automatically mean – build on it to ‘tick a box’. Any housing scheme is going to annoy, upset or cause emotional feelings but can we or indeed should we be giving up very valuable exercise and recreational land for a few at the expense of many who currently use this area and live close by. It would not be right to site these properties here, access roads are insufficient and not built for the purpose (only ever vehicle access for servicing allotments and the paly areas). Where are all these extra vehicles to park and does Mill road have the ability to sustain any additional development traffic?
    What has happened to the Local Development plan WRT to this project? How is it that this seems to be ‘outside’ of any plans already committed to in the parish? The local plan is very strict and detailed and we all subscribed to this as the only way forward in our community to sustain reasonable and required building. This project just seems to have landed from an unelected group with intention to do whatever they like just because it is floated with the banner of ‘affordable homes for local people’, all sounds very altruistic to me. It seems to make a mockery of the local plan!
    In thinking about who will be allowed to live in these homes, who makes the decision? This is going to be very contentious as ultimately some form of means test will be used and that could be seen as discriminatory to some who have no means or have ways of leapfrogging the system. Will there be some enduring authority and if not who controls future sales and ensures no profiteering??
    Please consider all the objections from your local people who have taken valuable time and effort especially in this current emergency climate, to let you know of our reasons for objecting to these plans.
    This is the only other grass and play area in the whole village, lets be serious about keeping what we have for the good of everyone and not just a few ‘lucky’ people who one day living in their new homes might come to mourn the fact that their children cant go to the safe local park and play!

    Reply
    • 31st March 2020 at 10:35 am
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      Thank you for your comments. Many of the points of concern you have made about the open space have been raised in other comments and you can see the responses we have made. But you do identify some new issues and we can respond to them. When the development of what is now Kingfisher Drive, Lark Way and Mallard Close was carried out there was a legal agreement between the Council and the developer. This agreement, amongst other things, provided for a sum of almost £100,000 to be paid to the Parish Council specifically to provide new play facilities and equipment. Those facilities and equipment are now 20 years old and some of it is in very poor condition and needs replacing. Our scheme will provide funds for this. It is understood that the Parish Council does not have the funds to do this.

      That legal agreement also provided for the transfer of a strip of land to the Parish Council of sufficient width to provide for the new access road and this enabled the access road that is now in place to be constructed. The provisions also specifically allowed for the construction of a community hall if that should be needed. The developer did not provide any funds for the construction of such a community hall it was only an enabling provision. It is our understanding that it was an idea being considered at the time but never materialised. The village does have three similar kinds of meeting place (The Parish Hall, The Meeting Place and the Westbourne Club) and following the refurbishment of the Parish Hall some years ago it may be that such a scheme was abandoned.

      We intend to replace the existing hard court with a much improved Multi Use Games Area providing scope for exactly the same range of activities, reposition the skateboard park and provide new play equipment and the jogging track. We intend to improve the park facilities for all users even though we accept that this is at the cost of a reduced open space area. The balancing factor is that we will provide much needed affordable housing for those who cannot afford to rent or buy locally. We do not see any prospect of affordable housing being provided in any other way in the Parish. If there was a suitable alternative available to us we would use it.

      With regard to drainage we have taken technical advice and can drain the site effectively without impact on existing property.

      We think our proposals will be consistent with existing planning policy. If this is not the case then Chichester DC will refuse to grant planning permission.

      The Trust is made up of local people from the community. We operate under rules that are available on our website to inspect. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and we are a charitable organisation as approved by HMRC. Our rules will prevent us from selling any of the proposed houses and indeed we do not want to do this. There is no right to buy houses provided in this way and we intend to keep them available in perpetuity as affordable rented homes.

      Reply

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