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Big win for the Sussex countryside

3rd August 2022

Sussex villagers in Goring-by-Sea and Ferring and the Worthing community can breathe a sigh of relief as plans for a major housing development on the nearby Chatsmore Farm have been successfully overturned in the High Court.

Planning Resource reports that ‘A planning inspector’s permission for 475 homes on an unallocated greenfield site has been overturned by a High Court judge, after she found that the government official made an “error” in failing to consider the scheme’s conflict with policies in an emerging local plan’.

The High Court judge found that the planning inspector ‘erred in law when assessing the importance of the green gap between Goring and neighbouring Ferring. He also failed in his obligation to give ‘great weight’ to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the South Downs National Park’.

CPRE Sussex Trustee, Bill Freeman, said: ‘This success for the countryside was very much helped by the collective efforts of the local community, strongly supported by CPRE Sussex’.

‘Also, full credit to Worthing Borough Council, the planning authority, for its commitment to challenging the appeal approval’.

‘I hope this success will inspire other communities and planning authorities to challenge applications for development in the wrong places’.

CPRE Sussex rigorously objected to the original application for the development on the grounds that the houses would be in the Chatsmore Farm, a designated Local Green Gap within Worthing Borough Council’s local plan and would have an adverse impact on the South Downs National Park.  We also raised issues about drainage and flooding. See:

We applauded Worthing Borough Council for its unanimous refusal of the planning application:

We subsequently submitted detailed comments to the Planning Inspectorate for the appeal brought by the developer. The points CPRE made on this appeal submission were precisely those same reasons why the High Court Judge quashed the appeal approval.

The Planning Inspector, in the appeal granted planning permission for the development, overturning Worthing Borough Council’s refusal of permission. The Council, aware of the strength of local support, then took the case to the High Court and won.

This is one of many examples of campaigning work that CPRE Sussex delivers every week alongside local groups to protect our countryside. All part of our mission to shape a greener future for Sussex. Join us in this important work, as together we will be stronger.