Call for facts on flats for Barnham

FEARS about parking spaces being hijacked by developers led councillors to seek more facts about proposed flats in Barnham.

They agreed to defer a decision about the plan for 11 flats and a shop in the village centre for extra information.

This means a decision is unlikely to be made by Arun District Council’s development control committee for another two months.

Head of development control Nikolas Antoniou said the further questions would be centred on parking, land ownership, access routes and the ability of refuse vehicles to reach the site, based on the concerns of members at last Wednesday’s (December 19) meeting.

“It is likely to be February before we have all the information we require and undertake all the checks we need to do,” he said.

Committee member Cllr Ricky Bower (Con, East Preston) said he was concerned the flats’ residents would be allowed to make up for the lack of parking spaces around their homes by using nearby public areas.

“These are public areas. They are not areas which can be hijacked for development.

“Parking in Barnham is difficult at the best of times. This suggestion would only make it worse.”

He said an idea by the developer, Graham Norgate, that parking could be trialled for three years was nonsense.

“We either allow the development and, therefore, the parking, or we don’t. I can’t support this application. The parking is all wrong,” he said.

Cllr John Charles (Con, Barnham) said: “There are too many things which are not quite right about this proposal.”

Eastergate Parish Council objected to what it described as an ‘over-intensive use of the land’.

Mr Norgate wants to build the flats and shop on a former used cars site behind 43, 45 and 47 Barnham Road.

His planning agent, John Bloomfield, said: “The proposed development would provide sufficient benefit by tidying up a prominent area in the centre of Barnham and providing much-needed long-term and short-term jobs.

“It will also provide much-needed housing in a sustainable location.”

Daniel Vick, a council planning officer, recommended the plan for approval. “The proposal will tidy up a piece of land which is currently under-utilised.”