Public consultation kicks off with meeting for residents in Bersted

A public meeting is being held this month to enable Bersted residents to have their say about the area’s future.

The session at 7pm on January 24 in the Jubilee Community Centre off Westloats Lane will be the first stage of public consultation on the parish neighbourhood plan.

Bersted Parish Council is organising the meeting to enable people to comment about the location of future development.

They will be shown the initial draft of the plan put together by councillors and committed residents.

Cllr Martin Lury said it was important people attended the meeting to give their opinions.

“What’s at stake is our environment and the community needs to be aware of that,” he said.

“The plan is about preserving what we want to preserve and building taking place where we want it to.

“The plan will evolve as the community has its say.”

Cllr Ann Smee said: “At the end of the day, it’s a community-led plan and it’s what everybody wants.

“We stand back. We are there to advise. We are not there to run the show.”

Such plans form a major part of the government’s new planning system.

They are designed to be created by an area’s residents to set out how and where they would like to see development occur.

Each plan will have to be backed by Arun District Council and vetted at a inquiry.

But, once it is approved, it can be used to guard against unwanted development by becoming evidence against which to judge planning applications.