Blake inspires new plan for Felpham

WILLIAM Blake has been used as the inspiration for a vision for Felpham.

The famous poet and the area’s most well-known resident has still captured its spirit more than 200 years after he lived there.

The team behind the draft version of Felpham’s neighbourhood plan have turned to Blake to sum up their hopes for the next 15 years.

Their vision statement reads: “Value, protect and promote the unique parish of Felpham, by respecting its heritage, appreciating its current community and being aspirational when planning its future and therefore ensuring ‘Felpham in particular is the sweetest spot on earth’, William Blake, 1801.”

The 40-page draft plan was published on Tuesday after well over a year of hard work by Felpham Parish Council’s neighbourhood plan committee.

The plan states: “The main view from local people is that they have taken more than their fair share of new development with the Blake’s Mead development (of 770 homes) and do not wish to see any more large-scale development in the village.

“They also want to see Church Field protected from development and the open years to the north of the village maintained.”

Residents’ comments have led to a series of principles to be developed to set out the vision for Felpham.

These are:

* support, encourage and promote a range of shops and businesses and provide an environment for enterprise to flourish;

* make the most of its seafront through protecting views, providing good access, enhancing facilities and maintaining defences;

* preserve, enhance and ensure the enjoyment for all of our valued green spaces;

* promote and support safer travel for all;

* foster and promote a thriving community with plentiful opportunities for people young and old for education, training and enjoyment;

* continue to be an attractive, well-ordered and vibrant community in which residents, visitors and businesses can thrive; and

* continue to be a distinctive, vital and thriving community where its identity, heritage and aspirations for the future are valued, protected and promoted.

The plan is open to consultation from residents before it is sent to Arun District Council for a six week period of formal consultation with bodies such as West Sussex County Council and the Environment Agency.

The plan which results will be subject to a referendum next year among Felpham’s 9,852 residents before the final edition becomes a planning document which has to be respected in future development.