Protestors call housing move a ‘farce’

CAMPAIGNERS in the Six Villages have claimed council housing plans are a farce.

Villages Action Group chairman Mike Turner said Arun District Council’s proposals for the future supply of housing ignored the constraints on development.

These included the lack of infrastructure and environmental matters such as flooding issues, the need to protect top-quality farmland and areas important for biodiversity.

None of the issues deterred councillors from voting on their latest housing supply numbers of 580 a year until 2029 in line with the advice from consultants who reviewed Arun’s strategic housing market assessment (SMHA).

He said: “We were absolutely astounded when councillors decided to adopt the consultants’ recommended figure without adjustment. The SHMA has turned into a sham.”

He accused council members of having little regard for what the government had called ‘the golden thread’ of sustainability which runs through its planning policy – economic, social and environmental sustainability.

“The district council has not come up with a credible economic plan to create more jobs but a plan that will not pass examination in public because it is unsound and unsustainable.

“It is not sound or sustainable to build so many more houses than are needed in the district that it significantly worsens out-commuting,” said Mr Turner.

He said the councillors’ decision also ignored residents’ views in wanting the previously-agreed lower figure of 430 homes a year to be kept. “Residents throughout the district clearly supported that lower housing figure,” he added.

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