Barnham court battle dropped

A High Court fight about a Barnham housing scheme has been scrapped.

Arun District Council has backed away from the battle to stop up to 95 homes being built on the former Angels and Hyde nurseries in Yapton Road.

The decision was made in private at a full meeting of the district council last Wednesday.

The council’s assistant director of planning and housing strategy, Karl Roberts, presented a report advising members the challenge to the planning decision in the High Court was due to be held early next month.

Following news the Environment Agency had amended its concerns about the development’s drainage – which formed a large part of the council’s case – councillors voted to withdraw their opposition and accept the inspector’s decision made on January 6, 2011.

Speaking after the meeting, a council spokeswoman said: “Arun District Council is not pursuing the High Court legal challenge on the advice of counsel.

“We will now wait for the parties to come back to demonstrate how they can provide adequate drainage.”

Barnham Parish Council chairman David Phillips said: “The parish council guardedly support this particular development as being more sustainable in the parish.

“However, the parish council is very concerned at a number of more recent speculative proposals for added housing on greenfield sites.

“It is clear the current social and physical infastructure – roads, drainage, sewers, schools and medical facilities – are not in place to support large-scale development. And there is not funding to enable improvement.

“We do not want large-scale speculative house-building. The residents of Barnham do not want to see their village turned into a town.”

At a meeting of Eastergate Parish Council last Thursday, Cllr John Charles, one of Barnham’s district councillors, said Arun could not continue with the battle because they believed it could not be won.

This marks the end of a two-year fight to stop development on the 3.5 hectare site.