Residents fill Eastergate display about new homes

CONCERNED residents poured into an Eastergate exhibition about plans for thousands of extra homes in their area.

The first hour of the display by Arun District Council attracted 70 visitors – or one every 50 seconds.

They kept coming into Eastergate Parish Hall in the late morning to provide a constant crowd of about 50-60 people around the maps with the council’s draft local plan.

This document has sparked controversy around the village for its proposal to enable 2,000 homes to be built in ‘Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate’ from 2013-2028.

Funding from the development will pay the multi-million pound cost of a bypass and bridge to remove the Woodgate level crossing and provide a better link between Bognor Regis and the A29 to boost the town’s economy.

Four options for the route of the bypass have been put forward by the district council.

Wendy Corney, 65, of Hook Lane, Aldingbourne, gave her verdict on the plans in four words. “The plans are rubbish,” she said.

“The idea of 2,000 more homes here is abominable.”

The campaigning Villages Action Group was present at the exhibition through publicity officer Pip Pegler.

“People are most aggrieved about what is being said. I’d say 99 per cent of people agree with what we are saying,” she said.

“They are very, very angry. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Hook Lane bypass or a Barnham bypass.

“With a possible 2,300 homes, there’s going to be at least 4,000 extra cars on the roads.”