Lorries get the green light at Barnham site

A single vote has given the green light to nearly a hundred lorries a day using a Barnham site.

The knife-edge decision by Arun district councillors means an appeal by Southern Glasshouse Produce to allow one of its buildings to be used by a haulage business will succeed.

Members of the council’s development control committee decided by 7-6, with two abstentions, to back SGP’s bid to remove two conditions which restricted the use of the building at its Lake Lane Nursery.

The decision was linked to a condition suggested by SGP that the building only be used for horticulture.

One of the residents who campaigned against approval, Elizabeth Folman, said she would make a formal complaint to the council about the decision. She believed it was based on faulty facts, she said outside the meeting.

“There were material inaccuracies in the material put before the committee,” she claimed.

“A few councillors made a valiant stand on our side and couldn’t have been more realistic on our behalf.

“The houses were there long before the glasshouses opened and yet the interests of the community don’t seem to come into the equation in the vote.”

Arun’s decision has been sent to the Planning Inspectorate which was due to decide SGP’s appeal against the council’s failure to determine its planning application within the legal timetable.

Council head of development control Nikolas Antoniou told the committee: “We will inform the inspectorate that the decision we would have made (within the deadline) would have been one of approval.”

Last Wednesday’s vote was needed after councillors deferred the controversial matter from their meeting in June.

They asked their planning officers to have talks with SGP about the prospect of building a link road to enable the lorries to use Yapton Lane instead.

But the talks failed to produce an outcome because some of the land needed for the new road is not owned by SGP.