Decision means new homes are step closer

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THOUSANDS more new homes 
are looking more likely around Bognor Regis.

The prospect of the major new wave of developments moved 
closer after a meeting of Arun District Council.

Its local plan sub-committee agreed last week to recommend land be allocated across the district for 8,340 homes in the next 15 years.

This is the same total that was agreed last May, but the sub-committee’s members also decided the rate at which the development would take place should be speeded up in line with their planning consultants’ views.

They want some 580 homes a year to be built compared to the previous decision to enable 455 dwellings for the next six years and 655 in the following nine years.

Their recommendations will be debated by the full council next January. That decision will be included in the council’s draft local plan land use blueprint which is set to be examined by a planning inspector next year.

It was acknowledged by Arun’s consultants that ‘a large proportion of the new housing required will be provided for households who 
are not currently resident in the Arun district’.

Cllr Simon McDougall (LD, Bersted) said: “We know Bognor and across the whole of the south coast is a retirement area and we are the victims of inward migration from throughout the UK

“But we have a problem in Arun because of the restraints with flooding and agricultural land 
and road infrastructure.

“But we need to move on. It’s becoming harder and harder to resist planning applications which we would perhaps prefer not to see in the district.”

Cllr Gillian Brown (C, Aldwick E) said it was important sustainability played a large part in its assessments of suitable developments.

“It’s one thing to provide infrastructure for the new development, but a huge problem is the deficit we already have in the district. We need to tell that story properly in the local plan.

“We are not here just to concrete over the district. This plan is for a long time and the infrastructure deficit has to be taken on board.”

Cllr Jacqueline Maconachie 
(C, Aldwick W) said: “The sooner 
we get a local plan in place, the better. We will no longer be left open to the developers who, at the moment, are popping up left, right and centre.”

Cllr Roger Nash (L, Pevensey) said: “These are commonsense recommendations. Let’s get the framework in place.

“The problem is going to be about the strategic allocation. That’s the real nitty-gritty.”

The sub-committee’s next meeting on November 28 will consider the strategic sites which will take large numbers of homes.

They include the 2,000 dwellings planned for the ‘Garden City’ scheme for the Westergate area.