VILLAGERS preparing policies for the future of Aldingbourne are standing firm about the Woodgate level crossing.
They have completed the latest draft of the neighbourhood plan which they are compiling to try to control development in the area.
Among the policies they have kept from their earlier version is the need for the consent of the majority of residents to any closure of the crossing on the A29.
The independent inspector who examined the initial draft recommended Aldingbourne Parish Council should remove the policy. But the parish councillors believed it should stay. A spokesman said: “They consider she had failed to recognise that closure did not necessarily follow any A29 realignment or bypass or the harm to the local community and local services that would result.”
Residents can have their say about the matter in the next month. A talk and exhibition of maps about the plan will be held at the parish council’s meeting at 7pm on March 1. This will take place at the Aldingbourne Sports and Community Centre in Oliver’s Meadow.
The neighbourhood plan team has taken a great deal of effort in the past three years with the document. Once it is approved in a referendum, it will be used by Arun District Council when it decides planning applications in the parish.
Already, the Aldingbourne plan has weight in the planning process and residents should take advantage of the chance to say what they support in the revised document.
The re-draft can be seen on Aldingbourne Parish Council’s website. Paper copies can also be viewed at Aldingbourne Community Sports Centre and Westergate Methodist Church.
Comments can be submitted by letter to the parish council or email to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 18.
Modifications which have been made after the inspector’s comments include the removal of proposed housing and job sites at Woodgate. There are adjustments to policies around water management, designed to avoid flooding, and the parish council has kept the explanatory text to show the subject’s importance.
The proposed allotments site is retained along with the caravan site next to the Prince of Wales pub. Many policies, like biodiversity, were accepted by the inspector and are unchanged.
Others, such as those designed to reduce speeding, have been moved into a new section.
Quiet lanes, unlit village status and buildings and structures of character policies have been introduced.
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