PRESS RELEASE – Chatsmore Farm Goring Gap

This decision represents a victory for both local residents and  the wider community. The Worthing Society is delighted that the High Court judgement has quashed the Inspector’s decision to allow Outline Planning Permission for 475 dwellings on this important open space. Chatsmore Farm is an historic, strategic gap providing a ‘green lung’ between the settlements of Worthing and Ferring. It is uniquely  important to the views to and   from the nearby South Downs National Park. The impact on  the surrounding transport system and local infrastructure would  have been catastrophic.

The Worthing Society vigorously supported the Campaign to protect Chatsmore Farm and safeguard the visual amenity for residents. This judgement also vindicates the emerging Local Plan which identified this area, which includes Grade 1 farmland, as  not  suitable for development. We were appalled when the Inspector allowed the Appeal by the developer. Now the judgement has found that the Inspector failed to take sufficient account of both  the emerging Local Plan, which was well advanced and broadly accepted by another Inspector, as well as the harmful effect on the National Park.

I would like to express our sincere thanks to the 1250 residents who bravely  objected and to Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for his staunch support, both in Parliament and at local Campaign meetings. We must also give credit to Worthing Borough Council who unanimously  fought to save one of Worthing’s last areas of countryside.

Our green infrastructure is part of our landscape  heritage and an irreplaceable resource. The recent Covid 19 emergency has shown the value of open green space to  mental and physical well-being.

This is welcome news and although the developer has the right to go to the Court of Appeal this judgement  remains significant.

Susan Belton
Worthing Society Chair

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