Planning application at Crouchland farm

From PORE Facebook page


Knowing that any comment on this application from the public must be in by 16th August (effectively 2 weeks time ) we’ve spent the weekend reading all the documents and in our opinion what they’re proposing is just too big for the location. We’re not against any development on the Farm and remember we always supported the small scale biogas, only objecting when it got out of all proportion.

In our view the main planning issues are:

This area is predominantly rural with high quality landscape and environment – conserving this is a key objective stated in the local plan and development should be limited to a small scale to meet local needs. Looking at this application it proposes the following :

Of the 17,169 m2 of floor space only 2,000 m2 will be for agricultural use which means non-agricultural floor space will be 15,169 m2. To put that into perspective the average floor space of an English home is 92 m2, so we’re looking at non-agricultural floor space that equates to 161 English homes – that doesn’t seem small scale.

For the farm shops and cafe they’re proposing 1,600 m2, which is about 16 times the size of the existing Plaistow village stores, again this is not small scale and much more than is needed to serve local needs. Planning policy requires that goods sold are predominantly produced on the Farm, so it’s difficult to see how the Farm can fill all that space.

The applicant says that the resulting increases in traffic can be accommodated by the highways, but with a doubling (+95%) of all weekday traffic on Rickmans Lane , +138% at weekends; an increase of 328% for large vehicles on weekdays and 3,621% on weekends ( yes you read that right!) this will have a detrimental effect on the tranquillity of the area. West Sussex County Council define our area as having “a remote and tranquil character” with a stated objective to “conserve existing tranquil rural and predominantly wooded character of the area”. They also identify “localized increases in traffic on rural roads” as a key issue of concern. As Chichester District Council have based their landscape assessment on that of West Sussex, they too have the same objective to conserve.

At the biogas appeal the planning inspector said in relation to HGV traffic that the relatively narrow roads cause concerns particularly for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders and stated that “the councils considered that these numbers would prove dangerous for other road users due to the nature of the lanes and the type of usage they currently experience” so a 3,621% increase in large vehicles on weekends for this application will surely be an issue.

So in summary this is of too big a scale for its location, it’s hugely in excess for local needs and will have a detrimental effect on the rural tranquil area that West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council state they are looking to conserve. If you feel the same, make sure to get any comment in by 16th August and remember they only take account of planning issues.

You can make a comment on the Chichester District Council planning portal
The application reference is 22/01735/FULEIA | Regeneration of Crouchlands Farm