Councillors continue to reject homes plans


DEFIANT councillors have refused to reconsider plans for hundred of homes in Aldingbourne in return for cash for the A29.

They said they stood by their original decision to reject the two schemes in spite of the prospect of a seven-figure sum to improve the key road.

The unanimous decision by Arun District Council’s development control committee last week confirmed its members’ views on the matter.

The developer behind the largest of the outline schemes – up to 268 homes at Nyton Road – has already appealed against the council’s first decision in February.

The company responsible for the other development, up 70 dwellings west of Westergate Street, is also expected to appeal.

But Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston) said: “Both these applicants can appeal until the cows come home. They are wrong.

“As far as the Nyton Road application is concerned, it’s an inner urban density in a semi-rural location. It’s an over-development and there’s no difference being suggested now.

“I thought it was an inappropriate layout for a village location,” Cllr Bower said.

The offer from the applicant of £1.34m towards creating a more modern A29 with a flyover of the railway line at Woodgate and a bypass was not enough when no other contributions to existing services had been made.

The Hook Lane proposal was similarly flawed. Cllr Bower said: “It is an over-development that does not even propose a contribution to education.”

Committee chairman Cllr Jacqueline Maconachie (C, Aldwick E) said the bid to get the committee to change its mind was ‘a little opportunistic’.

“I’ve no reason to change my previous decisions. All the reasons I gave before still apply,” she said.

Cllr John Charles (C, Barnham) said “We made a good decision previously after a long debate. I would be very reluctant to change it now.”

As reported, the councillors originally rejected the Nyton Road plan by Land Fund because it would intrude into the countryside, lacked enough affordable housing and required funds towards a range of public services.

They rejected the Westergate Street scheme from Hallam Land Management for the same reasons.

Arun senior planning officer Peter Cleveland asked the councillors if they wanted to re-think their decisions after the recently agreed local plan said weight should be given to planning decisions to the degree they would provide funding for infrastructure such as roads.