Residents win fight to stop West Meads homes

Angry residents have won their fight to stop the first terraced houses being built on West Meads.

Their protests helped to persuade councillors to reject the plans for the ten dwellings on the site of the former St Michael’s and All Angels Church.

They voted by seven votes to five, with three abstentions, against the proposals by Christ for the Nations.

They said the scheme was an over-development of the site off Queens Field East and out of character with the rest of the West Meads estate. The 14 parking spaces proposed were also too few.

Arun District Council received 114 individual letters of objection to the scheme along with protests from West Meads Residents’ Association and the Open Spaces Society.

Residents’ association secretary Carol Wiseman said: “So many properties in such a small space we consider to be an over-development and extremely unfair and unneighbourly to adjacent properties and the community hall.

“This is out of character. There are no terraces on West Meads. Currently, properties have a house, a drive and a garage.

“The West Meads estate was specially designed when built in the Sixties. It was then one of only five such designed estates in the country. We have tried to keep it that way.”

Cllr Gillian Brown, an Aldwick East district councillor, said: “Local residents are unhappy with this because it is a gross over-development of an open plan garden estate with a mixture of houses and bungalows.

“All the letters of objection are not against development.

They would like a smaller development in keeping with the rest of the estate.

“What they are against is this type of over-development. It is completely the wrong sort of development for this site.”

Committee member Ricky Bower said: “These are tiny plots compared to the others in the West Meads area.

“I appreciate there’s a degree of difference brought about with different fascias but they are ostensibly boxes.”

Cllr Elaine Stainton said: “This will be an eyesore. It will not fit in at all.”

Council head of development control Nikolas Antoniou told councillors: “These ten units don’t look over dense. Each has a defined rear garden and reasonable amenity space as well as parking space.

“This site is unique. It will never be developed in the same way as the remainder of the estate because it’s an unusual plot of land.

“It is a bridge between the low density of the (estate) housing and the high density of The Precinct.

“It will be very difficult in my view to find an alternative form of design. Quite a lot has gone into this design.”

The Rev Kevin Swadling, of Christ for the Nations, said the scheme sought to make the best use of a previously used site.

He said: “I do understand the residents want to retain the church but that is not practicable or, indeed, viable.”