A NEED for stricter protection for the environment has delayed a blueprint for Pagham.
The requirement to ensure future development will not harm the Pagham Harbour nature reserve means more work is required on the area’s neighbourhood plan.
This means the referendum on the document due for October has been postponed until next year.
Parish councillor Iain Balch told last week’s council meeting the hold-up was because Arun District Council wanted to make sure the plan had the same level of safeguards as Arun’s local plan.
“This will make the neighbourhood plan as strong as the local plan. Arun is concerned everything we do is robust,” he said.
“We will have a neighbourhood plan which is far stronger than other parish councils.”
He stressed the main principles of the plan – with housing sites in Nyetimber and at Rose Green – stayed unchanged. But the need for the environmental studies had delayed the plan’s completion while the policies were considered by Arun and Natural England.
It was important the plan stopped developers seeking to harm sensitive sites.