Villagers urged to take last chance to comment on plan

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Have your say

SMALL scale housing schemes of 30 homes is supported in a proposed new plan for a village.

The dwellings for local needs have been put forward in the latest draft of the neighbourhood plan for Aldingbourne.

Residents have been urged to go along and have their final say in preparing the important document.

Aldingbourne Parish Council has arranged the session from 3pm-8pm tomorrow (Wednesday, February 11) at Westergate Methodist Church on the A29.

Those who attend will have the chance to look at the proposal maps in the draft plan, question members of the neighbourhood plan team and comment on the proposed policies.

Cllr Gay Hodgson, who chairs the parish council’s planning committee, said: “We need to know whether the policies in the plan adequately protect the places in the parish that people love while allowing for the parish housing allocation of 30 homes required under the Arun District Council local plan. We also need to provide for local businesses to thrive and for services to be retained.”

The neighbourhood plan had taken two years of hard work to prepare, with professional help, she said, and the parish council was grateful for the team’s efforts.

This stage of the consultation gives residents from the parish - which includes Westergate, Woodgate, Aldingbourne, Nyton and Norton - six weeks to comment.

Those comments will be considered before the plan is put to a referendum early this summer. A yes vote will see the plan adopted and gain legal weight to be considered in planning matters.

Parish council chairman Cllr Martin Beaton said: “At this stage of consultation, the neighbourhood plan gains statutory weight when planning applications are considered.

“Once it passes referendum, it provides significant protection against inappropriate development which is not supported by the community. It is, therefore, essential that residents take this last opportunity to give us their views about the proposals and policies in the draft plan so that the plan presented for referendum is the one they support.”

The plan has been prepared against a background of 2,000 homes proposed by Arun for the Barnham, Westergate and Eastergate area.

Other policies in the draft neighbourhood plan include the protection of top grade farmland, better foot and cycle paths and the need for public support for the closure of the Woodgate level crossing.