People in Greatham hope a planning officer’s recommendation to refuse a proposal for 37 houses in the village will be upheld by the South Downs National Park Authority planning committee when it meets in Midhurst today (Thursday).

The scheme for the Liss Forest Nursery site in Petersfield Road has attracted objections from Greatham Parish Council and Greatham Primary School.

Headteacher Jo Goman and chair of governors Rob Ahearn said they welcomed new houses near the school as an opportunity to secure its future but were concerned about highways and parking issues.

Ms Goman added: “There is a single access point to the new estate and our school has a lack of parking. I therefore have reservations about the future safety of our children and for the transportation arrangements for our parents trying to get their children to school if this development goes ahead as planned.”

Petersfield Road resident Anna Dale-Harris, who will speak at the meeting, said: “There are currently approximately 330 houses in the village, so it is an increase of more than ten per cent in one go, with the potential to cause considerable negative impact on the character of the village if it is not sensitively designed.

“There is a footpath which approaches the site from the direction of the Hampshire Hangers, and the greenhouses and polytunnels are currently very visible from that footpath.

“They at least are quiet and dark at night, but the impact of 37 houses with all the associated lighting will, we all fear, substantially change, and indeed harm, the quiet rural enjoying of that footpath.”