Homes plans for Bersted are scrapped

MAJOR plans for thousands of homes on farmland in North Bersted have been withdrawn.

The Church Commissioners have said they no longer want to proceed with the proposals for north of Chalcraft Lane.

They announced the move in a single sentence with no explanation to Arun District Council which held the planning application for the scheme on file.

The scheme, dubbed the Bognor Regis Eco Quarter, involved 2,500 homes for 6,000 residents and nearly 47,000sq m of space for 1,556 jobs. Sites were also included for shops, a school and health facilities.

News of its sudden abandonment was given to Bersted Parish Council by its deputy clerk, Sue O’Connell, at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council chairman Cllr Brian Knight said: “The fact that this has been withdrawn is the best news we have had for a long time. This scheme has been on the cards for years.”

Fears about the new housing arose in 2007. The Church Commissioners unveiled their plans a year later. This led to protests by residents.

They were angry the development would mean the loss of the area’s last view of the South Downs and cause traffic queues.

The proposals were never decided by Arun District Council.The Church Commissioners could have appealed to the government for approval but they have walked away after Arun recently protected the land in its latest local plan and allocated a site in Eastergate for large scale housing.