Fears about Bersted’s future led to resignations

A COUPLE of Bersted councillors has resigned from the parish council.

Ann and Bill Smee stood down on Monday because of their fears about the future of the area.

In a joint letter to their fellow councillors, they say their role as elected parish councillors ‘has become untenable – we offer our resignations with immediate effect’.

The couple began their campaigning to protect Bersted from future development six years ago. They began with the Clued Up action group, formed to preserve the green fields on Chalcraft Lane from housing and commercial premises.

They have carried through this action with work on the neighbourhood plan which the parish council is compiling to guide future development.

“We had hoped that the... initative could help plan the future of Bersted to ensure our parishioners could choose the environment that they would like to to live in,” they wrote. “We have worked very hard over the past two years to bring this forward.”

But they believed the parish council had let Arun District Council ‘hijack’ the plan and decide if housing could be built on the fields.

Mrs Smee is also a member of the district council.