Major Littlehampton development off to a shaky start

LITTLEHAMPTON’S biggest housing development for many years has been given a frosty reception by town councillors.

Their hopes that detailed plans for 116 homes, the first batch of more than 1,200 in the North Littlehampton development, would set high standards for the rest, were short-lived, as the planning and transportation committee members criticised the overall size and ‘uninspiring’ designs of the properties.

The committee ‘strongly objected’ to Persimmon Homes’ proposals for the housing, the internal road network, car parking and landscaping, following the demolition of glasshouses and other buildings, on land at Zuider Zee Nurseries, north of Toddington Lane.

In comments to Arun District Council, which will have the final say on the plans later this year, the town councillors, meeting last month, said: “The committee recognised that this application was the first tranche of the development of North Littlehampton and considered that, as such, it would set the standard for the design and layout of the remainder of this strategic site.”

With this in mind, the committee sought higher standards ‘particularly in relation to the dwellings and layout of the estate, and therefore strongly objected to the application’.

Members were ‘very disappointed’ with the overall size and design.

“It was considered that the properties had been crammed in and that the layout was too regimented.

“Although built to current minimum standards, members also questioned the room sizes within the dwellings, the size of the garages and generally considered that the design was uninspiring and did not reflect the layout or character of the existing development in the same area.”

The town councillors also questioned the lack of open space in this first phase and feared there would not be enough parking for visitors, repeating mistakes made in the road layouts of the Eden Park development just north of the A259 at Littlehampton, built a few years ago.

“There was considerable concern regarding the provision of pavements on the estate, which were narrow and limited. Members felt that this, coupled with the narrowness of the main road through the estate, posed a considerable barrier to freedom of movement around, and access to the development and wished to ensure that the roads were built to adoptable standards,” the committee added.

Town councillors also called for further thought to be given to redesigning the access junction onto Mill Lane, and considered that the impact of the increased volume of traffic on roads in the area had not been fully understood.

They expressed concern about access to the area north of the development, earmarked for commercial sites, which, although not part of the planning application, could lead to construction traffic going through the housing at a later stage.

Concluding their comments, town councillors sought assurances that proposed infrastructure improvements, such as the Lyminster bypass, would be provided at the same time that the new homes were occupied.