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.
Worthing Society Chair