Traveller site fears

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A senior councillor from Barnham has warned a failure to get to grips with travellers’ sites could lead to more being proposed.

Cllr Jean Goad said she feared more locations could be used for the accommodation because Arun District Council had yet to adopt a formal policy setting out the numbers allowed.

“Please will the members of the local development framework sub-committee look at this as a matter of urgency,” she said.

“We have to face this situation or we are going to go on with having sites put forward ad nauseum.

“I feel very strongly we have to get to grips with this situation and it’s about time we did.”

Cllr Mrs Goad spoke out as Arun’s development control committee approved plans for a fourth mobile home on The Paddocks in Northfield Lane in Aldingbourne.

She stressed she was not criticising the applicants, Darren and Kim Searle, and acknowledged they had acted in line with the council’s conditions. But she feared Arun would constantly be faced with further applications until it had limited the number of travellers’ sites the district should host.

She also said she hoped there would be no further homes sought on The Paddocks.

“There must be a maximum number of metres between each mobile home. So, there must be a limit as to how much land is available there for mobile homes.

“We must be getting somewhere near that now, I would have thought.”

Committee member Cllr Ricky Bower, who is in charge of the council’s planning services, said Arun did have a travellers’ policy.

That was to reach the number of pitches which an independent study indicated was required.

“I think that number is 14 at the moment. We have dealt with a number of applications around the district to bring us up to that number. It’s not fair to say we don’t have a policy.

“I think we will be looking at 17 in the future and the provision of the additional ones is something which the local development framework sub-committee is doing,” he said.