The site falls within the administrative areas of Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council. At a Parish level, the majority of the site falls within Southbourne Parish, with the access and small part of the site within Hambrook Parish. The Development Plan for Chichester is currently out of date, and as of July 2020 Chichester’s housing target is 659 houses per year for 2020-2025.
The Local Plan, the document in which the Council sets out where in the district new housing is to come forward, is being reviewed and the Council is working for this to be ready for adoption in March 2023.
Chichester has an identified a lack of housing supply, and as such the Council has implemented an ‘Interim Position Statement for Housing’, which allows for sites to come forward subject to a number of criteria.
The site has been assessed by the Council within their ‘Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment’ (‘HELAA’) for 120 dwellings (reference HSB0001a) and was deemed suitable, available, achievable and viable.
This site is located adjoining the settlement boundary of Hambrook. As set out in the HELAA assessment, it is partially previously developed, due to the riding centre and the number of associated buildings and stables. The site also comprises a residential dwelling and static caravan.
The site is largely unconstrained, and a planning application will be supported by a full suite of technical assessments and surveys, which will include, but is not limited to ecology, arboriculture, highways, flood risk and drainage.
The site measures circa 4.2ha and comprises a number of fields currently used for horse grazing, which are owned and used by Willowbrook Riding Centre. It has been assessed by the Council within the HELAA as a partially previously developed site, due to the riding school and the number of associated buildings, stables, sand school, a residential dwelling and a static caravan being located on the site.
The site is generally flat, falling slightly towards the east. It adjoins the settlement boundary of Hambrook and any development will be read in the context of the village’s existing development.
The site is situated in Flood Zone 1, which is land with the lowest chance of flooding. Due to the intensive use of the site for horses, the site is relatively species-poor from a biodiversity perspective. As part of any development proposal, Reside will submit plans to the Council for the substantial enrichment of local biodiversity, which can be achieved through sustainable drainage, creating ponds, and planting of native species in existing hedgerows, resulting in a biodiversity net gain.
The Ham Brook runs along the eastern edge of the site, which has given the village its name. Currently, there are a number of buildings such as stables directly adjacent to it. Reside is looking at opportunities to enhance the Brook, and its setting by providing native willow planting and enriching the habitat it provides.
The site is in a sustainable location, with the village’s facilities and local public transport within a walkable and cycling distance. Access is proposed from Hambrook Hill South.