The South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee has refused a scheme for 37 homes in Greatham because of a lack of affordable housing.

Cove Homes proposed a mixed housing development on the Liss Forest Nursery site in Petersfield Road. Officers recommended refusal as it did not meet the 50 per cent affordable housing target.

Greatham Parish Council chairman Cllr Oliver Rook told the committee: “The village is not against development in this location – in fact, villagers welcome it. However, the designs must be right for Greatham and the national park. The proposal as it stands delivers very little benefit to the wider village.

“The developer is clearly attempting to do the bare minimum to attain planning consent and we profoundly disagree with this. We are disappointed at the very poor provision of affordable housing and the housing mix.”

David Murray-Cox of Turley planning consultants, representing Cove Homes, said: “We are talking about a site which was allocated in the Local Plan in 2019 which comprises previously developed land.

“The applicant has made no attempt to hide the fact the scheme would not be viable with any affordable housing. Despite that, they’ve made an offer to provide eight affordable shared ownership homes.”

Committee member Cllr Andrew Shaxson said: “The affordable housing issue comes up frequently in these debates. We have the developer on one side saying we cannot justify it, and on the other side the national park saying this is our target figure.”

Members voted to refuse the plan. There were 163 objections and one supportive response.