No appeal for Felpham path

A developer has decided against appealing over a decision which put Felpham footpaths ahead of 700-plus homes.

Barratt David Wilson Homes has said it will not contest the outcome of a public inquiry into its intention to divert the routes of the two paths.

But the impact of the ruling on the large site six development is still unclear. What is known about the company’s intentions was told to Arun District Council members by their planning solicitor, Delwyn Jones.

Mr Jones said at last week’s development control committee meeting: “Regarding the future of site six, the developer has said it will not appeal the inspector’s decision, which would have been a High Court case. It has also said it will not re-apply for a further diversion order.

“It will simply look further at the development and re-align it. I don’t yet know the exact details.”

Committee member Ricky Bower, who also heads Arun’s planning service, said he disagreed with the decision.

“This shows inspectors don’t always get it right,” he said.

“My understanding is that this is a quite regrettable decision by the inspector because it affects the Bognor Regis relief road as it is proposed.

The Observer revealed in January how planning inspector Helen Slade had backed a handful of objectors – led by Felpham councillor John Holman – in favour of Barratt David Wilson after holding an inquiry last year.

Barratt David Wilson wanted to lengthen and alter the line of footpaths 154 and 2988 to take account of its new housing and the Bognor Regis relief road.

But Ms Slade totally dismissed both sets of alterations. Part of her reasoning concerned the need for a safe crossing point where footpath 154 met the road and its expected 16,560 daily vehicle movements.

She said: “A less extensive diversion would not compromise the development as a whole, although I accept that it would require some amendments.”

For footpath 2988, she said Barratt David Wilson had not shown it was necessary for a diversion but would still have been likely to refuse it.