Plans for homes in green gap between East Preston and Ferring resubmitted

Proposed layout of the Kingston development in the East Preston Ferring gap. Photo: Seaward Properties
Proposed layout of the Kingston development in the East Preston Ferring gap. Photo: Seaward Properties

Last year, Seaward Properties submitted proposals for 48 residential dwellings – 30 per cent of which (14) would have been provided as affordable homes – off Kingston Lane just south of Somerset Road.

More than 150 letters of representation were submitted by local residents – and they were filled with objections.

Arun District Council stated at the time that the plans would be considered ‘acceptable in principle’ but it was not entirely satisfied with the application, with a refusal decision made in April this year.

This was because, the cluster of affordable homes would ‘appear isolated’ and would ‘fail to integrate’ with the proposed market homes; there were insufficient water drainage details; the site comprises grade one agriculture land and it had not been ‘satisfactorily demonstrated’ that there is an ‘overriding need for the development’; the proposed development would ‘result in harm to the countryside’ setting and ‘would fail to enhance the character and appearance of the site’.

The developers were also told they had failed to provide an appropriate number of ‘adaptable dwellings’ and did not include a suitable provision of disabled user car parking and therefore ‘failed to cater for all future occupiers’.

Developers have addressed what they perceive to be minor issues.

One house has been removed in the new application, meaning the development would be for 47 houses – 14 of which affordable.

"The 33 market dwellings would be a mixture of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing with 16 adaptable homes,” a planning statement read.

"They would be mostly two-storey in height, with six 2.5 storey properties. Thirty per cent of the homes are to be provided as affordable dwellings.”

The developers said Arun District Council is unable to demonstrate an ‘adequate supply of housing land’ and it has been demonstrated that the scheme brings benefits to housing and land supply that ‘significantly and demonstrably outweigh the limited harm identified’.

They said the development will bring significant economic and social benefits to the area.

"The site is not within, nor has an impact on, an area of asset of particular importance,” the developers wrote.

"The site represents sustainable development being located on the edge of East Preston, where it will be possible for residents to use non-car means of transport to access the primary school, local shops and other services.”

The applicant said the concerns over affordable housing, drainage and disabled parking have been addressed but the issue of loss of grade one land ‘remains but does not outweigh the benefits’.

The statement continued: “The application has been amended to provide more usable open space and the housing types re-arranged to break up frontage parking with additional landscaping incorporated.”

The updated application, which was submitted on November 1, has received more than 80 objection letters already, as of November 13.

Among them was a letter which read: “I strongly object [because] the proposed development would put severe strain on the already overstretched public amenities. Existing sewage and waste infrastructure is severely taxed and the surrounding roads are, at the best of times, heavily congested and gridlocked, creating much more air pollution.”

Another concerned local resident said it would be a ‘damaging and distressing’ loss of open space, wildlife habitat and agriculture land.

A further letter read: “I object most strongly to unwelcome and damaging application.”

A decision is expected by January 31, 2024, with comments allowed until December 7 this year.