Councillors have unanimously but reluctantly given permission to an application for the first 125 home build at the former Keymer Tiles site, in Nye Road.
Several residents spoke at the Mid Sussex District Council planning committee this afternoon to oppose the ‘reserved matters’ application.
Outline permission for a development of 475 homes on this site was given outline permission in 2010. That establishing the access roads which would be used and the two phases of development - to the East and the West.
The new ‘reserved matters’ application was only to establish the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of the development.
Most opposed on the grounds that the developer Croudace has chosen to build part of ‘phase two’ of the original outline planning application, before building any of phase one or the community facilities.
The phase Croudace will now build first is on the West side of the site, the opposite end to Kings Way, which was named as the main access route in the outline planning application.
This will mean Kings Way will not be in use at all for the first phase of development and instead the two small road - Wyvern Way and Curf Way - will be used as main access roads.
Councillors agreed this seemed wrong but were told by their officer Hamish Walke that Croudace was only ever told it must build phase one before 2017 and phase two before 2020, not that these had to be built in sequential order.
Councillor Edward Matthews said he thought it wrong that the developer could change the phasing if it originally implied it intended to build phase one first but realised they had no real planning reasons for turning down the application.
He said: “There’s not a good reason to turn it down after Hamish’s description of the phasing agreements.
“I think we missed a trick.
“I will be reluctantly voting for and I’m not happy.”
They voiced concern about the use of Wyvern Way and Curf Way as main access routes but they could not turn down the application based on this or make any conditions on access at this stage as access was agreed during outline application.
They were only able to make an ‘informative’ to Croudace, asking it not to allow construction vehicles to use Junction Road during school drop off and pick up hours.
This was done in an attempt to protect Manor Field Primary School pupils.
Councillors agreed it was likely the developer would go to appeal if they turn it down.