Housing call could go to government

A DEMAND by Aldwick’s councillors for large housing schemes to be halted could be sent to the government.

The call for unsustainable development to be stopped is to be debated by every parish and town council across the Arun district.

The Arun District Association of Local Councils is set to call an extraordinary meeting ahead of its next scheduled session in June to enable the motion to be discussed.

If it is agreed, it could be passed to other organisations which represent local councils and on to the government.

The motion to contest the unsustainability of large-scale developments and encourage development on brownfield sites was devised by Aldwick parish councillor Michael Warden.

It was agreed unanimously at Monday’s parish council meeting. Cllr Warden said taking the matter to the association would enable all local councils to make a united stand on the matter.

“We need some rationale to impress upon the higher authorities that the south-east of England can’t sustain such a high level of development because of roads, schools, GPs’ surgeries and hospitals to name but a few.

“The biggest risk of all is to create flooding by paving over huge swathes of floodplain,” he said.

He said some homes were needed – for young people and couples – but most of those being built in a 580 homes annual target agreed by Arun District Council were likely to be bought by those who moved into the area and then commuted elsewhere.

He originally raised his concerns at an Aldwick Parish Council meeting at the start of this year.

This led to a meeting with neighbouring parishes late last month at which the idea of taking the matter to the association was raised.

Further support came from parishes further afield. They included Aldingbourne and Barnham. As reported, those areas are faced with a development of up to 2,060 homes being agreed by Arun as part of its efforts to meet government housing targets.

Cllr Tony Poland, Aldwick Parish Council’s chairman, said the Arun association would decide the best course of action to ensure the motion was effective.

“We don’t lose anything by agreeing to this,” he said. “But, until the association put it on their agenda, we can’t take it forward.

“It needs to go on their agenda and they can form a working party to find the best way forward from all the local councils there.”

Cllr Derek Hammond said he was worried about the effectiveness of the motion.

“Everybody will agree with this but what happens next?” he said.