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Council launches legal challenge to permission for 475-home scheme on ‘green gap’ site

Worthing Borough Council has launched a High Court challenge over a planning inspector’s grant of planning permission for a 475-home development on a ‘green gap’ between Goring and Ferring.

Councillors originally rejected a planning application by developer Persimmon for permission to build 475 homes at Chatsmore Farm in March 2021.

The local authority said: “They agreed that the area was an important green gap and that development would adversely impact the setting of the South Downs National Park and add to traffic congestion.

“But despite a government-appointed planning inspector indicating to the council that it was right to protect the green gap from development in its emerging Local Plan for the area, a different inspector overturned the council's decision on appeal in February and said the homes could be built.”

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A council spokesperson said: “Building on Goring Gap might be right for the developer but it is wrong for Worthing. We are determined to stop this unwanted development.

“We have now taken our case to the High Court to fight for the right decision to be made, to protect this open space for the community and to prevent the urban sprawl along the coast.”

The council claimed that there is widespread local opposition to the development. “There were more than 1,200 letters of objection to the planning application and significant public support for the emerging Local Plan that sought to protect this important green gap separating Worthing from Ferring.”

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