Councillors told by campaigners to calculate the number of houses they want

VILLAGE campaigners have sent a ready reckoner to councillors about to vote on the principle of thousands of new homes for the Six Villages.

The Villages Action Group members say the simple calculator shows the number of homes needed to be built for incomers.

A spokesman said councillors just needed to decide the number of incomers on the vertical scale and then read off 
the number of houses required on the bottom scale.

He said this was the easiest way of showing the main driver of new housing is the number of people moving into 
the area.

“The number of new dwellings planned in Arun is solely calculated from the number of incomers who will move here from elsewhere in the UK and abroad,” he said.

“It is unaffected by local housing needs for local people.

“So, a vote for the Arun target of 580 new dwellings a year would house 32,000 incomers through to 2031 with zero new houses built for locals.”

The group’s comments come as councillors prepare to vote 
on January 8 to approve Arun’s much-delayed draft version of its local plan land use blueprint.

One of the document’s key strategies is the allocation of land for 2,060 new houses in Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate with an A29 bypass as part of the development.

The action group says this will create urban sprawl and traffic chaos across the Six Villages.

It argues this makes the plans unsustainable and the target of 
580 homes a year, based on a study by consultants, is flawed.

The group supports a lower target of 425 houses a year, which councillors have twice previously voted to support at earlier stages of the plan’s preparation.

“These would be spread across 
the district,” said the spokesman, “still allowing 23,000 incomers to move into Arun.

“But they would not require that thousands of extra ‘strategic’ houses and roads be built, destroying the very villages that make our area so special and increasing the threats of flooding in the coastal towns and parishes.”

The local plan is designed to set out the Arun district’s land uses until 2028.

If councillors approve the current version, it has to be subject to an examination by a planning inspector.

This process will enable those who disagree with the council’s decision to challenge it in front of the expert.

The inspector’s opinion then has to be agreed by councillors before the final version of the local plan is published.

As well as housing locations, the local plan has to show the council has a five-year supply of land for house building.

It also sets out gaps between settlements – such as that between North Bersted and Chichester – as well as protecting conservation areas.