Bersted meeting for housing proposals

A PUBLIC meeting is set to be held early next year to allow Bersted’s residents to have their say about new housing.

The meeting will be called by Bersted Parish Council as part of its preparations of a neighbourhood development plan.

This document will play a crucial role in determining which sites are kept free from building and which are used. It will have to be backed by residents in a poll before it has any power.

Cllr Wendy Kapp said: “This could be the difference between us getting Chalcraft Lane developed and not getting it developed. It needs to be looked at very seriously.

“We know people in Bersted are very interested in planning, particularly after what has happened here.”

Cllr Ann Smee said: “We should engage with people and let them know what’s happening and why.

“We want to know how they see the parish in ten or 15 years’ time.”

The neighbourhood plan would include all aspects of living such as jobs, shops, flood prevention and the protection of the environment.

The plans are being drawn up by local councils around the country after the government signalled their importance in its revamped planning system.

Each plan in the Bognor Regis area will have to be considered by Arun District Council and subject to a public inquiry by a planning inspector before it becomes official.

Publicity about Bersted Parish Council’s intentions for its plan will soon be delivered to households. Fiona Dobbs, the council’s clerk, said consultation was vital to enable the plan to take effect.

North Bersted residents bitterly opposed the some 700 homes currently being built in the site six development.

n A new officer, Lisa Palmer, has been chosen by Arun District Council to help communities prepare their neighbourhood plans.