Hundreds of objections fail to stop poultry farm houses

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A disused poultry farm will be replaced with housing despite concerns raised by more than 200 residents.

Risk of flooding, potential damage to protected trees and an increase in traffic were among the objections to West Sussex County Council’s plans for the site, west of Yapton Road, Middleton.

Hugh Coster, vice chairman of Bognor Regis Civic Society told Arun District Council’s development control committee last Wednesday: “There is not good connectivity to services, no transport hubs, no proximity to local services and no schools in Middleton.

“A small rural smallholding which six farmers wanted will be lost, damaging the rural nature of Middleton, plus wildlife habitats destroyed, plus no flooding mitigation plan has yet been presented at all. All damaging to the environment of the village and unsustainable.”

The plans, for 13 homes, were pulled from the committee’s agenda in November.

Residents commissioned their own report into the health of established trees, which questioned the county council’s assertion they were diseased.

Arun officers placed a preservation order on three of the trees, after a bough was removed from one of them.

Agent Damian Sullivan insisted the trees would not be damaged by construction work. But resident Louise Algar, who said she prevented contractors felling the trees in November, questioned the assertion.

“There is no access to this site from Silver Birch Drive without damaging and possible destroying protected trees,” she said.

Middleton councillor Barbara Oakley and Bersted’s Jacky Pendleton expressed concerns over the plans.

Mrs Oakley said it was ‘extraordinary’ that an application from a local authority did not include affordable housing. A financial contribution will be made. The plans were approved by eight to five, with one abstention.