Field in Felpham could be given new protection

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ONE of Felpham’s last fields could get extra protection against development.

Church Field is being considered as an extension to the village’s conservation area.

The valued field, between St Mary’s Church and the A259 Felpham Way, is currently outside the area’s northern boundary.

Martyn White, Arun District Council’s conservation officer, is considering making sure the four hectare open space is fully recognised in planning rules. He told Felpham Parish Council last week: “I am consulting on whether Church Field should go in the conservation area.

“It provides the setting for the area and it is one of the last open fields left within the parish that goes back to its past as an agricultural village.”

Any current building proposals for the field would be judged on how they would affect the neighbouring conservation zone and Grade II* listed church, Mr White said. If the field was within the area, plans would have to be assessed according to additional controls and considerations such as the detail of the siting and type of its properties.

“We would have to do a more lengthy study about if the development enhances and preserves the area,” he said.

Several campaigns have been staged in the past five years for the field to be given conservation area status because of fears its owners could want it developed.

Cllr Mary Harvey welcomed the fresh look at the situation.

“It would be very good if the field was included. We might have some affect on the type of building that goes on there,” she said.

Church Field is one of the three sites which could be added to the nine hectare conservation area in a character appraisal being carried out by Mr White.

It is the first study of its kind of the 29 such areas in the Arun district. This is considering what is special in the area and worthy of attention and what detracts from it and could be enhanced.

Matters like the importance of flint in Felpham’s historic buildings and the narrow road layout in the village centre are taken into account.

Another potential addition is Manor Close. Mr White said: “Manor Close is a good example of properties from the 1930s which are in good condition, well looked after and with a number of original features.”

Conservation areas are those councillors believe have special architectural and historic merits. Felpham’s was designated in 1985. It includes 18 listed buildings.

Consultation about the area’s appraisal lasts until April 10 on Arun’s building conservation page at www.arun.gov.uk

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