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Chichester Harbour Trust response to the Highgrove Farm Inquiry decision

The Chichester Harbour Trust has noted the decision announced by the Planning Inspector relating to the land north of Highgrove Farm at Bosham with great disappointment.

This decision paves the way for the development of 300 houses on this greenfield agricultural site on the boundary of Chichester Harbour AONB. Considered together with the recent decision in favour of 200 homes at Chidham & Hambrook, combined with the pending decision on 150 homes at Birdham, this creates a perfect storm of over-development in the setting of this highly sensitive protected landscape.

We were particularly disappointed that the decision, whilst acknowledging the need for nutrient off-setting from housing development, doesn’t properly address the lack of wastewater treatment infrastructure, just as we have seen non-stop raw sewage discharging from Bosham treatment works since 24th October alone (469 hours).Indeed, the Inspector goes as far as to state that “I have not found any unacceptable harms that would result from its proposed development.” This can only lead to disbelief from the local community and all those who have worked tirelessly to protect our Harbour.

John Nelson, Chair of the Chichester Harbour Trust said today, “The planning decisions in the context of the environmental damage to the AONB are completely inexplicable. There is no doubt that this over-development, without the provision of proper infrastructure, is leading to an existential crisis for the Harbour, that we seem powerless to stop. As we have argued before common sense must prevail”.

“We at the Trust call for a long-overdue overhaul by government of the national planning system to prevent the ongoing environmental degradation of our precious natural areas, both in the Harbour and nationally. Our elected representatives have completely failed to act on this. Time is running out”.

Image of the Highrove Farm site copyright Angus Peel.

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