VOTE: Do you think developers pack too many homes into housing sites?

New flats are robbing North Bersted residents of their daylight.

Collette Luck is one of the worst-affected homeowners on North Bersted Street whose view consists of a brick wall.

The 2.5-storey high block of flats is being built about ten metres from the boundary of her back garden. Another is being built just to the left.

She said: “I don’t see how the builders have got away with doing this. It is so awful and so depressing.

“I don’t even want to go into my back garden any more. It is so upsetting. All I will be able to see when the flats are completed is this brick wall and rooftops.

“I used to sit in my garden watching the sun go down right the way to the horizon. Now, I doubt if I will even be able to see the sun much at all in the winter.

“The new building also has to affect the amount of daylight I get as well.

“There’s about seven or eight of us affected along here. I just don’t understand how no consideration could have been given to us all.”

There is a gap of only about 18 inches between her back garden fence and the boundary fence of the new development. The flats are being built just beyond that.

Miss Luck, 55, moved into her semi-detached house 30 years ago. She bought it for the partially rural surroundings. She looked out over farmland to the South Downs. Halnaker Windmill and the Goodwood racecourse were within sight.

“The amount of traffic past the front of the house has increased a lot during that period,” she said, “because Rowan Way wasn’t developed when I moved in.

“But I accepted that because it was so lovely out the back.”

She was aware of the building planned for the farmland as part of the North Bersted section of the site six development.

This had been planned since 1999 but it took the developers several years to get planning permission to build the 650 homes off North Bersted Street and Chichester Road.

Miss Luck has a 2009 site plan which shows a buffer zone between her garden and the new flats.

But the developers gained planning permission a few months ago to add a further 106 homes to the scheme.

She believes this has enabled the final buffer zone to consist of a few shrubs crammed into a small space. She was alerted to this only when building work started about five months ago.

“I realise there is a need for housing but these flats are going to be here forever,” she said.

“Even if I could move, nothing is ever going to compensate me for what I have lost now they are being built.”

A spokeswoman for Arun District Council said: “A senior planning officer from the council has spoken with Mrs Luck on numerous occasions and went out on site on July 27 this year to specifically measure the location of this block of flats relative to the boundary of her property and the approved plans.

“He is satisfied that what is being built is in accordance with approved plans. We would ask Mrs Luck to contact us if she has any further queries on this matter.”

One of Bersted’s district councillors, Simon McDougall, said: “The new flats are unbelievably close to the existing houses. I have never seen anything like that. I can well understand the anger of the residents.

“It justifies my position in never having supported any of the plans on that site.”