Dispute over farm workers’ caravans in Pagham is ‘far from over’

Angry residents opposed to plans for temporary caravans at a Pagham nursery have said the dispute is ‘far from over’ despite the application being withdrawn.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 10:04 am
Concerned residents outside the site

The application (P/38/19/PL) outlines plans for 31 caravan units, housing between 93 and 186 people, working from February to November at Newlands Nursery, a situation residents described as ‘disastrous’.

Last Wednesday, however, the application was withdrawn.

Abi Hudlass-Galley, who led the charge against developers, said: “We are not over it yet. We were semi expecting it because we had seen on the portal that it had been suggested by the planning officer so we were waiting to see what they would do.

“We didn’t get any of that delighted feeling I’m afraid — we are just waiting to see now. I think it is far from over but who knows. It would be lovely for them to say they are going elsewhere.

“We have been left with a very nasty and weird feeling about our homes still — until they tell us they are moving that will stay.”

Legal advice given to the developers on June 17 requested a ‘certificate of lawfulness’ application was submitted to confirm it was a permitted development.

An email from Arun district planning officer Simon Davis said: “It would be helpful, if you do decide to do this, that the planning application be withdrawn and resubmitted once the CLE has been granted. However, I accept that we are unable to force you to do any of these actions.”

Pagham Parish Council objected to the plans and was joined by North Mundam Parish Council, whose members ‘failed to see how this development can be considered to be appropriate and sustainable for a number of reasons’.

They said: “To accept a new residential facility for seasonal workers on this site without any supporting justification set an unacceptable precedent for other such developments elsewhere.”