Replacement of commercial space in Bosham with new homes denied

The application, for Cockleberry Farm, on Main Road, was rejected at a planning committee meeting on Wednesday June 15.

A report to the committee recommended the application for approval, saying the buildings on the site were “obsolete and unsuitable for continued commercial occupancy”.

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But this view has been fiercely contested by companies operating from the site.

Existing buildings on the left and proposed development of the subdivision on the right

Julius Thurgood, stylist and set designer, uses one of the units to store theater props.

He told the meeting that he had kept the building at “good working order”, including rewiring, plumbing and replacing the main doors.

Mr Thurgood – whose work includes contracts for the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​and the Goodwood Revival – said he had not received any notice of the venue’s development plans and was unlikely to can find suitable premises elsewhere.

He added that the development would be “another nail in the coffin for indigenous local business”.

Chris Snowdon, who has operated his classic car restoration business from another of the units for around 20 years, also said he had received no notice.

Mr Snowdon told the meeting that he employed a number of people on contract.

He added: “Trying to find new premises for such a business is going to be really difficult and an uphill struggle.

“Too many small businesses are disappearing and never replaced. Sad times.”

The committee held a lengthy discussion of the plans, raising concerns about access to the site, maintenance of a drainage ditch, the future of businesses and the need for affordable housing in the area.

Penny Plant, cabinet member for the environment, said there was a need for affordable tiny homes in the area.

David Rodgers (Lib Dem, Harbor Villages) felt the bid would “destroy jobs”.

Simon Oakley (Con, North Mundham & Tangmere) suggested the application be refused due to loss of active employment land and flood/water hazard management issues regarding the drainage ditch.

While officers were unconvinced the latter could be successfully defended on appeal, the committee backed Mr Oakley and the plans