Worthing Council strengthens its case further to protect Chatsmore Farm

Released: Thursday, 31 August 2023

We're preparing for what we hope will be the final victory needed to protect Chatsmore Farm from developers.

Persimmon Homes is continuing to press for permission to build 475 properties on the green gap between Worthing and Ferring despite losing a series of court challenges.

The latest hearing, at the Court of Appeal, resulted in a panel of three top judges rejecting the developer's case.

The matter will now be reconsidered by a new planning inquiry at some point in the coming months. We have asked Persimmon to consider withdrawing its appeal but the company has refused to do so.

The appeal will now be considered at a new public inquiry where we can present a much stronger case after the adoption of the Worthing Local Plan - the planning blueprint agreed with government inspectors that sets out where new homes can and can't be built.

Worthing's planning committee has agreed new grounds for why the application should not be allowed, including that the development lies outside the built-up area, would damage the designated green gap and would negatively affect the setting of South Downs National Park.

Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper, the Leader of the Council, said:

“It's really disappointing that Persimmon continues to push ahead with this appeal despite the local plan inspector agreeing with the Council and our communities that it should remain an undeveloped green gap between Worthing and Ferring.

“We have had to spend significant time and money to defend the green gap in multiple court cases now, but Persimmon refuses to get the message.

“We know there is an acute need for new homes in Worthing, and we are working hard to get genuinely affordable, sustainable homes built in the right places.

“We have said it before and we will say it again - Chatsmore Farm is not for housing and we will fight to protect it.”

In March 2021 we rejected the planning application submitted by Persimmon but the housebuilder successfully challenged the decision at a planning inquiry. The planning inquiry's decision was subsequently quashed by the High Court after we appealed against the ruling.

Persimmon then took its case to the Court of Appeal, to ask it to overturn the High Court's ruling and allow the 475 houses to be built on the 20 acres of land, which sits within the setting of South Downs National Park.

In June this year the Court of Appeal rejected the housebuilder's case. As a result the appeal remains undetermined and will be decided by a new planning inquiry with a new planning inspector appointed.

Photo: Chatsmore Farm, Worthing

Chatsmore Farm, Worthing

(PR23-117)

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Page last updated: 20 February 2024

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