The Planning Inspector has dismissed the Developer's Appeal . See the decision notice.
The decision on the Maybush Orchard appeal was put on the Planning Inspectorate website on 25/6/2015.
Thanks so much to everybody who supported the campaign. It was a terrific response and I am so pleased that the Inspector has made the right decision!

Chichester District Local Plan has the ‘Green Light'

You may have read in the local paper (May 22, 2015) that the Planning Inspector for the Chichester District Local Plan has given the Plan the ‘Green Light'

This is significant because planning permission has been given for a total of 77 dwellings in the Parish of Chidham & Hambrook compared with the indicative figure for the parish of 25 houses built into the Chichester Local Plan.

Steve Harris, CDC Senior Planning Officer, has written to the Planning Inspector as follows. (extract)

‘Clearly, therefore, the emerging Plan's proposed indicative allocation for the Chidham and Hambrook Parish has already been exceeded by a significant margin.

At the time of submitting its statement of case the LPA accepted that it could not demonstrate a 5 year housing supply (%YHLS) and, whilst the LPA confirmed its view at that time that the absence of a 5 year supply should not be the determinative consideration in the case, it was nevertheless acknowledged an important factor that when considering the ‘planning balance', weighed in favour of the appeal proposal.

However, given that the emerging Local Plan is approaching the final stage of its adoption process and has been found to be sound on the basis of, amongst other things, a demonstrable 5 year housing land supply, the LPA considers that any justification for granting the appeal on the basis of boosting housing supply has been undermined to a further significant degree. ‘

Fingers crossed.....
The Deadline (Feb 13th 2015) for objections has passed. Many of you wrote to the Inspector.
No further submissions will be accepted by the Inspector.
We now have to wait for the Inspector's decision (which is final).
The Inspector will make a visit to the site before making a decision. This hasn't happened yet.
The timing of the decision depends on the Planning Inspector's caseload.

You can see documents submitted by the developer on the CDC portal here. For more about Maybush Orchard see
Maybush Orchard photos page link

Save Maybush Orchard Campaign

The Campaign against the Maybush Orchard Planning Appeal

A Developer wants to build 25 houses on Maybush Orchard, a traditional orchard, a priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan Habitat, within the Chichester Harbour area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
Their Planning Application was rejected (30 May 2014). They have now launched an appeal.

The Deadline for objections ( Feb 13th 2015) has now passed.
The Planning Inspectorate will not accept submissions after this date.

If you wish to contact the Planning Inspectorate, you can email the
Case Officer Simon Dunn at ,
or you can write to the Case Officer at
The Planning Inspectorate, 3/10a Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN
When you write to the Case Officer you should include:
 your name and address;
 the DCLG Ref no
(Planning Inspectorate appeal reference number) APP/L3815/W/14/3000573
 the official address of the appeal site; Land East of Cot Lane, Chidham, West Sussex

You can see documents submitted by the developer on the CDC portal here. For more about Maybush Orchard see Maybush Orchard photos page link
Here are some reasons to object, which you can copy and paste, and thus save time
Don't feel you have to include all the arguments. You can copy the paragraphs that you agree with and change them if necessary to express your individual concerns
1.) The development site is within the Chichester Harbour AONB, and not within a Settlement Boundary, and thus cannot claim support from the Chichester Local Plan. The damage to the AONB and the tranquillity of the area would outweigh the small benefit in terms of additional housing in the Chichester District. The Orchard is an important habitat and green corridor both locally and for the Chichester Harbour AONB. The development is overwhelmingly opposed by local people. In the Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Questionnaire, 89% of respondents said we should preserve more space for wildlife habitat and biodiversity. 92% of respondents said we should preserve trees/woods/orchards. 91% said we should preserve green corridors.
2.) The development will change the character of Cot Lane which is a quiet lane and important gateway to the Chichester Harbour AONB. The development intends to destroy the continuity of the Cot Lane hedge. This is important both visually and for wildlife. The site is important to the local landscape particularly when viewed from Cot Lane and the Main Rd. Views of the development through gaps in the hedge will be undesirable to walkers or drivers going down Cot Lane. The view from the Junction with Broad Rd looking south will be devastated, and an important 'gap' lost. The 'orphan' orchard at the north end of the site a will not protect the landscape or ameliorate the view of the 1.8m close boarded fence, nor will planting on the south side of the fence.
3.) Currently permission for 87 houses in Chidham and Hambrook has been given since the start of 2014, compared with the indicative housing number of 25 for the parish in the District Plan. The 86 houses of Lion Park were permitted immediately prior to this period.
An appeal for a development of 25 houses nearby is already underway
(ref APP/L3815/A/14/2215706 Pottery Field). If both appeals were allowed, this would mean a total of 138 additional houses against the Chichester District Plan indicative housing figure of 25.
The development will impact on the strategic gap and in particular fill in the gap on the main road between Nutbourne and Chidham. This would completely undermine the local Neighbourhood Plan and fly in the face of overwhelming local public opinion.
Any requirement for additional housing should go where it will do less damage.
4.) This ancient orchard is a UK Biodiversity action plan (BAP) priority habitat. It has rich biodiversity, with many red list bird species, bats and insects. It is a significant green corridor adjacent to Maybush Copse and important for migrants to the Harbour AONB. The value of a habitat depends very much on its size and the age of its trees. Reducing the size of the habitat, cutting the Cot Lane hedge in several places, and destroying the old trees, amounts to unnecessary damage to local ecology.
5.) It is not a sustainable development in this location. Sewerage capacity is already unsatisfactory and there are too frequent discharges into the harbour. Its close proximity to the Chichester Harbour AONB will cause significant recreational disturbance. There are no primary school places at Chidham which has already been extended beyond its reasonable capacity, no secondary school, Doctor, Dentist or convenience store.
6.) The Cot Lane/Main Rd junction/staggered crossroads is a nasty dangerous junction to exit from Cot Lane . There are occasional minor accidents and frequent near misses. The WSCC Highways department is complacent, been but the Inspector should check out this junction and form his own view. The problem is that traffic can travel fast along the Main Road . The view from the west for traffic waiting to turn right to go east or north at the Cot Lane junction is very restricted. This is a junction that experienced drivers try to avoid. It will get worse when the house development allowed for Broad Rd is built and there is additional traffic turning right from Broad Rd on to the Main Rd.
The development will result in the loss of the limited informal parking at the top end of Cot Lane east side which is of value to residents and the Barleycorn pub.
Cot Lane is very narrow and carries significant agricultural traffic including wide vehicles. The development plan requires bin lorries to stop in Cot Lane and wait while they are loaded with bins from the development site. This will block Cot Lane and cause traffic congestion.
7.) The site has poor drainage, and is prone to surface water flooding, as is the field to the north of the Main Rd. The developer has had several tries at different drainage schemes, none of which are satisfactory and fly in the face of the prevailing poor local drainage of the area. Local properties and their gardens have been flooded in recent years. The revised drainage plans are unsatisfactory, relying on the North South ditch on the east side of the site. This ditch has no discernible fall or flow. Despite this the developers intend to fill in an important ancient ditch. The development would increase the risk of flooding for existing local properties.
8.) The mitigation site is too far from the development to be relevant to the development site residents, and too small. The proposals will not adequately compensate for the loss of biodiversity or habitat since the value of the existing habitat is associated with its size and the age of the trees, some of which are 100 years old.
No parking facilities are planned when the access to the 'Community orchard' will be from an area that is already a cause of much aggravation to residents because of excessive on street parking related to the School. It is not clear how the site will be managed. The developer has made no arrangements for the future management of the site or the costs in perpetuity.
9.) There is an alternative use for the site which would be more beneficial to the community and the district, for example, as a wildlife refuge and community orchard. In 2008 the community raised significant funds to allow the Chichester Harbour Trust to purchase the similarly sized Maybush Copse site which is adjacent to the development site. In this way the visual amenity, the heritage orchard, the priority habitat and the gateway to the AONB would be preserved.
If the site is developed, all this is lost.
The developers have found no answers to the objections to this scheme. The appeal should be rejected.
The details of the appeal have now been published: Start Date 09 Jan 2015,
Procedure: Written representations
Case Officer Simon Dunn Case Officer Email:
Case Summary 25 no. dwellings, change of use of land to form area of off-site public open space and associated work
Local Planning Authority: Chichester District Council : Questionnaire Due 16 Jan 2015
Appellant/LPA Representations due 13 Feb 2015, Interested Party Comments due 13 Feb 2015
Appellant/LPA Final Comments due 27 Feb 2015
If you would like to contact the 'Save Maybush Orchard' Residents Group - email here

Chichester District Planning Department Case Officer REFUSED this planning application on 30 May 2014:
see refusal notice with reasons here
There were over 400 letters opposing the planning application
Chichester Harbour Conservancy criticises the application here
Chidham and Hambrook Parish Council
criticises the application here
WSCC Principal Landscape Architect
(Environment and Heritage)
criticises the application
Sometimes there are problems with the Chichester District Council public access website - it can be slow, but keep trying

Cot Lane / Broad Rd junction with the Main Rd A259
WSCC Strategic Planning see no problem with this junction yet local people know it is getting increasingly difficult/hazardous to turn right either from Cot Lane or Broad Rd. More houses in Cot Lane and Broad Rd will make this worse. This is an opportunity to draw this to the attention of both the District Council and West Sussex County Council.
See WSCC document submitted to Council here
see here for the application ref 13/03978/FUL details


Maybush Orchard is an old orchard, over 100 years old, a wonderful habitat for the wildlife of the harbour area, with mature apple trees, grass underlay and oak, ash and poplar trees on its perimeter. It is adjacent to Maybush Copse and within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Now a developer wants to build 25 houses on part of the 8 acre site. They held an exhibition at the Chidham and Hambrook Village Hall on June 7th 2013, and a valid planning application was submitted to Chichester District Council on Feb 28, 2014.

If you are concerned about the impact on the harbour area, the strain on local infrastructure, can't believe that the planning system will not protect this beautiful and important habitat within the Chichester Harbour AONB, and think there are better places they can put houses –

Write a letter of objection

write to your MP, and your District Councillors
see here for contact details

For more photos of Maybush Orchard see here

to support the campaign: contact Stephen Johnson (01243) 572059 or email

The Developer measured the traffic in the first week of December 2012. Why did they choose that time of year....?
Look how narrow Cot Lane is where they want to put the houses.
This is the ditch on Cot Lane. It's normally dry. When the water is at this level the flooding extends into the orchard.
This ancient and historically significant ditch will be lost in the planning development
The orchard has flooded several times in recent years. I have no photos of the worst flooding events in (I think) 1993, 2000 and 2012.

Maybush Orchard showing the approx location of planned development (purple), Maybush Orchard (red) and Maybush Copse (yellow)

Biodiversity ' .. you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone'
Your help identifying birds, bats and other wildlife in the area, could put Southbourne, Nutbourne and Chidham, on the nationwide ‘map' and make it possible for building developments to steer clear of our precious wildlife.

see here