HUNDREDS of new homes could be built in Pagham, parish councillors have been warned.
The large estates are set to be submitted for planning permission by developers.
Their expected applications are the result of Arun District Council being ordered to enable more homes to be allowed in the years to 2031.
The council’s local plan land use blueprint has to accommodate an increased number of homes a year – 845 – during that period to meet the house-building target set by the government.
This demand means that Pagham’s current hopes in its draft neighbourhood plan for two estates of some 125 dwellings in all south of Summer Lane and next to the Inglenook Hotel on Pagham Road are set to be dwarfed.
Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr Ray Radmall said Arun’s planning officers had cautioned the neighbourhood plan’s policies were set to be tested by house builders.
“I fear we are going to be assailed by two significant building projects,one on Sefter Road for potentially up to 380 homes and one on Hook Lane for potentially up to 430 homes.
“We have done everything we can, as have Arun, to keep housing numbers down because of infrastructure issues in this area and flooding,” he said.
There could even be the prospect of a 1,900 home estate elsewhere in the parish. He described that as a tragedy for its impact on a parish which the neighbourhood plan had sought to protect from unwelcome development.
“We have spent three years of time on this plan, and all that money, to have it blow up in our faces,” he said.
“The planning officers have assured us the neighbourhood plan is robust enough to resist at least one of those developments. Let us hope it is,” said Cllr Radmall.
Pagham’s neighbourhood plan is still going through the procedures before it can be put to a residents’ vote.
Hopes of the parish council referendum could take place a year ago were ruined when the independent inspector chosen to consider the plan suggested it needed stronger environmental policies to reflect the status of Pagham Harbour.
This assessment has been completed and the plan’s amended version advertised for six weeks’ consultation. It will then be considered by the same inspector. If she says it is satisfactory, the poll is likely to be in the summer.
But Cllr Phil Higson said: “We are going to have a big problem of credibility if we are not going to have the referendum until after these plans are approved.”