Planning rules behind a new housing estate in North Bersted have been condemned as rubbish by a councillor.
Jacky Pendleton criticised the fact the only option had been to agree to up to 90 homes being built on a field at New Barn Lane.
The field is used for grazing sheep. The first of this year’s lambs have been born to the delight of neighbouring residents.
But they are likely to be the last as developer Landform prepares detailed proposals after Arun District Council backed its outline plans to establish the principle of building on the 3.72ha site.
But Cllr Pendleton told Bersted’s annual electors’ meeting last Tuesday she disagreed with the decision which Arun’s development control committee, to which she belongs, had to take.
She said she realised the application went against Bersted’s neighbourhood plan which parish councillors and residents had worked on for months.
The effort counted for nothing when the proposal was considered against the planning regulations imposed by the government.
“This is very unfortunate. I really have to say I don’t understand the government putting this in place,” she said. It was ‘ineffective’ and ‘demotivating’ to ask people to devote time to preparing plans for their area’s future only to ride roughshod over them.
Conservative Cllr Pendleton said: “It’s just rubbish. I feel councillors on the parish and district councils, and even the county council, are being held to ransom on this.
“I fought quite hard on this application both behind the scenes and at the committee - to no avail, unfortunately,” she said.“It was a really tricky issue. There are a number of statutory things we have to consider when we look at a planning application.
“We looked at every angle and we argued a lot on many things but there was no substantive planning reasons for turning it down.”
But Cllr Mrs Pendleton, one of three district members for Bersted, said she would continue to battle to get the best deal for the area from the detailed plans being created.
“My biggest concern about the development is the width of the roads. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past,” she said.
Parish councillor Martin Lury called for the new housing to have bungalows facing the existing ones.
“To have three-storey townhouses there is wrong,” he said. “People will go from looking at sheep to being totally overlooked.”
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