Plans to build up to 65 homes in Pulborough have been approved by Horsham District Council.

The outline application for Stane Street, in Codmore Hill, was given the nod by the planning committee.

But they laid out some conditions.

The plans from Castle Properties Ltd and Huntstowe Greenacre, were deferred by the committee in January after members called for more information about the sewerage capacity in the local area, the cost and provision of miniature stop lights, and / or a footbridge over a nearby railway crossing, and whether the access onto the A29 would be provided with visibility splays to the satisfaction of West Sussex Highways.

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Officers reported that Southern Water was ‘satisfied the system can accommodate the additional flow’ from the new development.

They added that Network Rail felt it was likely that the miniature stop-lights would not be required as good progress was being made on the design of the footbridge at the crossing point.

As for West Sussex Highways, officers reported that a S278 highways agreement – allowing the developer to make alterations and improvements to a public highway – would be needed following approval of the application.

Despite the assurances from Southern Water, not all councillors were convinced.

Councillor Paul Clarke said: “We have a situation where sewage is being consistently dumped into the river and adding more houses at the moment just makes that situation worse.” 

And Philip Circus felt that allowing the application would make the district council ‘one of the only groups in the whole of southern England who put any store [in] commitments and undertakings and guarantees by Southern Water’.

There were also concerns that the railway footbridge would not need to be open and ready for use until the 51st home had been occupied – almost the entire development.

Officers recommended the application for approval but, at the first time of asking, councillors disagreed by six votes to eight with three abstentions.

Outright refusal was considered but there were concerns about the council losing when the developer inevitably appealed the decision with the Planning Inspectorate.

Officers recognised that the site was not allocated for housing in either the Neighbourhood Plan or Horsham’s Local Plan, but pointed out that the council was in ‘a vulnerable position’ as it did not have the required five-year supply of housing land.

This meant that planning inspectors would likely rule in favour of the developer anyway.

A report to the committee reached the conclusion that the benefits of having 65 market and affordable homes in the area would ‘outweigh the conflict’ with  the Local and Neighbourhood Plans.

Cllr John Trollope said: “I don’t feel great about this application but I do feel like it at least technically ticks all the boxes in terms of planning and that we really don’t have a choice.”

In the end a second vote was taken to approve the application on two conditions.

The first was that the railway bridge had to open when 30 per cent – around 19 – of the new homes were occupied.

The second was for an amendment to one of the drainage conditions already applied to the application.

It called for no development to start, other than the demolition of the bungalow and out-buildings on the site, until detailed designs of a surface and foul water drainage scheme had been submitted to and approved in writing by the council.

This was agreed by nine votes to one with six abstentions.

The development will be made up of 12 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom, 23 three-bedroom and 13 four-bedroom homes.

Some 35 per cent – 23 homes – will be classed as affordable.

To view the application, log on to and search for DC/21/2466.