'˜David v Goliath' housing plans battle ends in victory for developer
Residents fighting a village housing project have been dealt a blow after plans were given the green light following a public inquiry.
Arun District Council’s ‘severe’ housing shortage has seen Gleeson’s 108-home scheme for Burndell Road, Yapton, approved.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid approved the plans in a decision published last week.
Vicky Newman, chairman of Yapton Parish Council’s planning committee, said: “I think it is disappointing for every parish and town council in Arun.
“Time isn’t any community’s friend when it comes to planning especially when you have got a local authority that doesn’t have a local plan and can’t prove its housing supply.”
Arun approved the plans but the parish was successful in getting the application called-in last September.
The site is not included in Yapton’s neighbourhood plan – a document crafted by residents to give them a say on housing in their village.
But Arun’s difficulties in getting a local plan in place has often seen neighbourhood plans overridden.
Yapton scored a rare victory last year when the Government upheld its neighbourhood plan in rejecting plans for land south of Ford Lane.
Mrs Newman believed politics and a worsening housing situation had ensured the victory could not be replicated.
“It is not a huge surprise as it was very much a David versus Goliath battle,” she said, referencing the parish’s lack of legal representation at the inquiry.
“As a parish we wanted to support our residents and try to show it was worth dedicating all the hours of putting together our neighbourhood plan.”
The decision notice said the benefits of the proposals outweighed the negatives.
It read: “The Secretary of State considers that the proposal would make a significant contribution to housing and affordable housing in the district, where housing shortage is severe. He gives this significant weight.
“He considers that the proposal would bring economic benefits by creating jobs during construction, and he gives this moderate weight. He considers that bus, cycle and highway infrastructure would be improved, and he gives this moderate weight.”