Brexit fears raised amid anger over plans for new village homes

Cala Homes want to build 54 new houses in Kirdford SUS-190114-123239001
Cala Homes want to build 54 new houses in Kirdford SUS-190114-123239001

Strong objections - and fears over Brexit - are being voiced over a developers’ proposals to build dozens of new houses in a Sussex village.

CALA Homes wants to build 54 homes off Plaistow Road in Kirdford, but Kirdford Parish Council is up in arms over the plans.

In a strongly-worded letter to Chichester District Council this week, the parish council says it is ‘astonished’ that the district council is even considering the proposals. And it raises fears that Brexit could affect housing demand in the area.

CALA Homes was originally granted planning permission to build the houses in Kirdford last November, but Chichester Council ruled that construction should be spread across a five-year period.

However, CALA Homes say that phasing building over five years is ‘not viable’ and have submitted a new application for bulding the 54 homes over a shorter period.

This week Kirdford Parish Council slammed the application as ‘an insult to the democratic process’ and of having ‘total disregard for our Neighbourhood Plan.’

The council adds: “It appears ever clearer, that the applicant intends to ignore the will of the community entrusted to us by the Localism Act” and describes the new application as ‘somewhat shoddy.’

The council says that a fresh assessment should be made over the whole application. “Four years have elapsed and the world of 2019 is very different from 2015, as indeed is the site; we know nothing of the current wildlife impact, and we recommend a new and fresh assessment should be conducted and submitted for consideration.”

It adds: “We are also increasingly mindful of the impact of Brexit and ongoing debates, and their wild effects on housing demand. This is a major influence which did not offer perspective in the first application, but now becomes the largest housing needs ‘elephant in the room’ that can no longer be ignored by Chichester District Council.”

The parish council says that there is no evidence that phasing the development over five years would not be viable. “CALA’s claim of non-viability needs to be clearly evidenced and we stand ready to challenge it again,” says the council.

CALA Homes, meanwhile, maintains that it is “trying to secure a viable and workable development that will address the immediate need for housing in the area.”

Kirdford Parish Council has forwarded its objections of housing minister Kit Malthouse and Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert.