There was a CDC Planning Committee on 27/04/2016 to consider the White House Farm Masterplan. The scheme was passed at the last minute by use of the chairman’s casting vote. The Westgate Residents’ Association runs a Traffic Action Group to review all matters concerning the impact of the Whitehouse Farm development. If you have any questions about the outcomes of this meeting and the needs for future decision-making, please contact the Chairman, Dr Richard Brownfield.

For your information here are retired highways engineer Paul Wreyford’s summary notes form the meeting:

CDC officers and the planning chairman repeatedly emphasised the point that this masterplan was effectively a template for guiding the outline planning applications (my words) and that;

  • It was not a statutory document.
  • We would not debate details such as off-site traffic and transport issues or on-site/off-site sewage treatment and disposal.

In spite of this “guidance” most of the invited speakers and almost half of the planning committee raised strong concerns about;

  • Traffic impact
  • Transport sustainability
  • Access for construction traffic
  • Poor consultation
  • Need for a southern access at Phase 1
  • Pollution levels
  • Sewage disposal

One member in particular was somewhat scathing about the “disgraceful masterplan”.

Others questioned the implications for the planning applications if the masterplan were approved.

Traffic and Transport

The southern access issue in particular was raised by nearly all of these people.

Dominic Smith for WSCC Highways explained that there were many outstanding H&T issues and that there were unacceptable proposals in the masterplan. But, once again these concerns and issues were dismissed by the chairman as “matters of detail for consideration at the planning application stage”.

(I remain unclear of Dominic’s position regarding Phasing and the timing of a southern access. Unfortunately, I could not fully hear what he was saying. Louise Goldsmith also was uncertain and agreed that this will need some clarification at a future meeting with Dominic.)

Amendment

Simon Oakley (Tangmere) proposed an amendment to the resolution. This effectively proposed a vote on the principle of the masterplan (on-site proposals/layout), but excluding traffic and waste water issues. Unfortunately, this may well have persuaded some members now to vote in favour of the masterplan whereas before they were most likely to vote against it.

Simon’s additional caveat was something on the lines of;

  • “not to build the southern access until the end of Phase 1 (the 751 st. house)”

There was some confusion over appropriate wording for Simon’s additional amendment and it was agreed that the chairman and officers would re-word it for approval.

Simon’s amendment clearly produces the risk that the developer may only build Phase 1 and abandon Phase 2. If so, the traffic impact on local roads will remain severe with only a northern access on to Broyle Road.

The Vote

The vote was taken on the amended resolution and it was a split 6 for/6 against. The chairman subsequently used his casting vote for approval.

To repeat Richard Brownfield’s recent words; “Today’s meeting all seemed to be going well until the end with that silly amendment.”

Going Forward

There are now several issues that need clarification. I take heart that so many members (50%) were clearly concerned about the many issues listed above, even though they were considered not relevant by the chairman to the masterplan approval.

Clearly, we are now moving on to the next phase, the outline planning application, and we need to reload our blunderbusses and let blast at the appropriate time

(When is this outline planning meeting for Phase 1 and do we need to register now to speak at it?)

In the meantime there are many points of clarification on many issues, particularly with WSCC, Southern Water, the EA and CDC.

Paul Wreyford 27th April 2016


Colin Hicks

Webmaster, Westgate Residents' Association Chichester

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