A PUBLIC meeting about planned new homes is being held in Yapton.
The event has been organised by the village’s MP, Nick Gibb, to discuss the proposals for 250 homes to the north of Church Lane.
The meeting will take place at 6.30pm tomorrow (September 27) in Yapton Village Hall.
Mr Gibb said: “It is important that residents’ views are paramount in any developments affecting the future of Yapton.
“I have called this meeting so that no-one will be in any doubt about the strength of local opinion.”
The landowner and his agents have also been invited to attend.
Members of Yapton Neighbourhood Planning Group separately fear the plan could be ignored when planning decisions are made.
They are concerned the document which represents the views of villagers could become toothless.
Their fears have arisen after developers unveiled their plans for the 250 homes. Last year, another large development for 173 homes across Yapton and neighbouring Ford was allowed on appeal by a government planning inspector.
Deborah Robinson and Andy Faulkner, the joint chairmen of the plan group, said: “We are extremely concerned that our emerging neighbourhood plan will be ignored and we have all been wasting our time.
“All feedback from villagers is that they want small scale, sustainable development rather than developments of hundreds of houses on prime agricultural land which will be the death of our traditional village.
“We feel there is nothing we can do as local people to stop it happening.”
They pointed out central government asked communities to work on the neighbourhood plans. The one for Yapton had taken hundreds of hours to compile.
“Surely, if central government has asked communities to help shape the future of where they live and be allowed to help decide the most appropriate sites for future housing, then when it comes to the crunch and a planning decision is made, then surely the communities’ voices must be heard.
“But in our village at least we are very concerned this could very easily not be the case.”
The group which is compiling the plan has 11 villagers from all walks of life.
They have consistently consulted their fellow residents for the past year on a wide range of issues that will influence the well-being, sustainability and long-term preservation of their rural community.
The group is finalising the policies for the plan before the draft version is presented to the community for its approval.
If it is backed, it will go to an external examination and inspection before it can take effect. Its aim is to establish a vision for Yapton which will last for the following 15 years.