Fear of creating a ‘ghetto’ halts scheme for 100 homes
28 February 2014
THE risk of ‘community segregation’ was the reason behind the refusal of a 100-home plan for Selsey.
The planning inspector, Martin Pike, revealed his decision on Pye Homes’ bid for the 100-home development on Friday (February 21).
He said the layout of the scheme – which set social housing apart from the rest – was unacceptable, but said ‘there is no objection in principle to the scale of development proposed’.
The site, on the land north-west of Park Road, neighbours another site which has permission for 50 homes.
And although residents were concerned about the scale of the development, the layout was also a concern.
Ben Cooper of Selsey Town Council spoke at the appeal hearing on January 23, and referred to another development in Selsey where social housing was in one part of the site. He said the arrangement had caused ‘anti-social behaviour issues and crime and disorder’.
“The people in this room want to be sure that it is not going to happen again and we are not going to get this ghettoisation again,” he said.
“That is my concern, what has gone before.”
Mr Pike said in his report that the ‘strong physical separation’ of social and market homes ‘would fail to secure a mixed, inclusive community’.
He also said the number of four-bedroom houses in the plans would fail to provide for young families hoping to move to the area.
After the decision, a Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: “The dismissal of this appeal is very good news for Selsey. Affordable housing is desperately needed in our district.
“However, unless this is acceptable in terms of layout and design and with an appropriate mix and distribution of dwellings, then planning applications are likely to be rejected, including on appeal as in this case.
“It is important that these matters are properly addressed so that we are able to deliver sustainable and well-designed new communities.”
Despite winning the appeal, Chichester District Council has been ordered to pay costs to Pye Homes, because refusing the plans for the number of homes was ‘unreasonable’.
Dr Andrew Emerson comments
1:28 PM on 02/03/2014
This case highlights the utterly absurd and unfair planning law which was created by government last year.
The planning inspector rightly dismisses the developers’ appeal. But then he proceeds to order the side that won to pay the costs of the side that lost! Since it was the council that won (or should that be lost?) it is we council tax payers who will end up footing the bill for this hearing and for many others to come.
The whole planning system has been designed in order to give the deveopers their way in the end, while victimizing local residents twice over: firstly, by subjecting their neighbourhoods to unsustainable overdevelopment; and secondly, by making them bear the costs of ultimately unsuccessful legal representations.
How can anyone not blinded by lust for profit think that building scores of new houses on the one road in and one road out Isle of Selsey is a good idea?