HUNDREDS of new homes have been approved for Westergate.
Planning inspectors have allowed appeals for two large housing estates around the village. Both decisions were announced on Monday to the dismay of campaigning villagers.
The largest site will see up to 268 dwellings, including 30 per cent affordable housing, built on land at Nyton Road and Northfields Lane, Westergate, and land off Fontwell Avenue, Eastergate.
The scheme will include 60 senior living units.
Lesley Coffey, the planning inspector who allowed the homes put forward by Land Fund, said: “Economically, the development would bring short-term advantages in respect of jobs.
“In the longer term, it would increase household spending within Arun.
“It would also support economic growth through the provision of housing and the creation of jobs in local services to meet the additional demands arising from the development.
“The proposal would also add to the number of economically active residents within Arun.
“Whilst the proposal would result in the encroachment of built development into the countryside, it would not result in material harm to the character and appearance of the area, or to the setting of Westergate or Eastergate.
“I conclude that in this case the factors weighing in support of the appeal are sufficient to outweigh the intrinsic harm arising from the loss of the countryside.”
The appeal was heard last November – just three weeks before Katie Peerless held an inquiry into plans by Hallam Land Management for up to 79 homes on land west of Westergate Street.
She said: “I have found that the harm that the proposal would casue in terms of loss of countryside would be very limited and the setting of the village would only be marginally affected by the development of this area of unremarkable grassland.”
The development fitted Arun District Council’s vision of expansion for the area, she said. Arun refused permission for the schemes.