A special Planning Committee on 25 May 2022 decided to approve the duplicate planning application for Toads Hole Valley.
As a result, the developer, Toads Hole Valley Limited, has withdrawn its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. This means that the public inquiry, due to have started on 9 June, has now been cancelled.
Energy efficient housing
The proposed development is sited on a privately owned 42-hectare site just south of the A27, near King George VI Avenue. It includes plans for new homes; a school, community/sports facilities; offices and light industry; retail space; a community centre and doctors’ surgery; and enhanced local wildlife sites.
Half of the homes in the development are planned to be family-sized and 40% will be affordable homes.
They will have to be built to new standards introduced this month to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. CO2 emissions for the new build homes will have to be around 30% lower than current standards.
Each home must also have a charging point for electric vehicles and be designed to reduce overheating.
Improvements to ventilation will also help keep residents in the newly built homes safe and provide a good quality environment.
The original planning application was made in 2018 but we were unable to give a decision on the application. This was due to both National Highways and the council, as the Local Highway Authority, not having been provided with sufficient information to assess the impact on the A27 and other local roads.
Because of the delay, the developer both submitted the duplicate application and appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the fact that no decision had been made on the original application.
On 25 May, the Planning Committee also agreed that further work undertaken by the applicant, National Highways and the council, had demonstrated that the concerns they had relating to the impact of the development on the road network had been satisfactorily addressed.
This meant that the reasons for refusal could be withdrawn, and the Planning Inspector informed.
It is estimated that the developer will make a Community Infrastructure Levy (CiL) payment of £6.85million and has reached an agreement, under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act, to support measures to reduce the impact of the new development on the existing infrastructure of the area.
£2m of the CiL will be ringfenced for improvements to the A27 junction and roundabouts.
King George VI Avenue will have new pedestrian and cycling crossings and there will be improved linkages to the South Downs national park, enhanced bus services, and cycling improvements to Goldstone Crescent.
The development will include 30 self/custom-build housing plots. On and off-site ecological mitigation and enhancement will support dormice and reptile populations.
Public open spaces will include children’s play, sports facilities and food growing areas.
Councillor Leo Littman, chair of the Planning Committee, said: “The Toads Hole Valley development will provide the city with 880 desperately needed new homes, of which 40% will meet the Government’s definition of ‘affordability’.
“A number of environmental improvements have been secured, from renovation of the Site of Nature Conservation to energy efficient homes and better active travel infrastructure.
“Of course, we would have wanted more. For example, we would have liked to have seen a scheme which worked even harder to reduce reliance on private motorised transport.
“However, within the bounds set by the National Planning Policy Framework, this development provides as much benefit as we could have hoped for. It helps us get closer to the housing supply figures set by Government and takes a small but significant step towards a more sustainable city.”