Decision due on first phase of A29 realignment

Plans for the first phase of the realignment of the A29 are expected to be given the go-ahead by West Sussex County Council next week.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:23 pm

The application will be considered by the planning and rights of way committee on Tuesday (June 29), where it has been recommended for approval.

If approved, this first phase – known as the northern tie-in – would see a 1.3km stretch of road built linking Fontwell Avenue (A29), with Barnham Road (B2233).

A report to the committee said the new route was ‘a strategic requirement’ and was supported by the West Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2026.

Proposed northern section of A29 realignment joining existing A29 south of Fontwell
Proposed northern section of A29 realignment joining existing A29 south of Fontwell

The aim is to create enough road space to cope with expected traffic growth from thousands of new homes proposed for the area.

The report added that the new road would take traffic away from congested areas, in particular at the Woodgate level crossing, improving journey times/connectivity between the coast and the A27.

It was identified as a key infrastructure requirement in the adopted Arun District Local Plan 2011-2031.

But the plans have not gone down with residents, and the council received dozens of letters of objection.

One resident said: “If the council cares at all for the people of Barnham, Eastergate and surrounding areas, then this preposterous and destructive A29 plan will be denied planning permission.

“It’s crystal clear that the road has more to do with covering the surrounding farmland in over-expensive houses than with the traffic.

“I understand that the Woodgate crossing is a problem traffic wise, but building through one of the the largest and few-remaining green spaces that Barnham, Eastergate and Aldingbourne have to offer is not worth the avoidance of a 5-10 minute wait at some railway lights.”

Barnham and Eastergate Parish Council objected to the plans, saying the road would have an ‘unacceptable impact on the community’.

The parish council also claimed the plans failed to meet the policy requirements set by the Arun Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.

A lengthy string of other objections included concerns about the impact on the landscape and character of the area; poor design of the road, the fact that the road would be so close to other homes, concerns about air pollution, noise, vibration and lighting, and concerns about flooding and drainage.

The second phase of the realignment would see another road built between the B2233 Barnham Road and the A29 south of Lidsey Bends.

The idea is for it to be delivered by private developers via an application to Arun District Council.

If approved, the new road – which would have a 30mph speed limit – would be an average of 7.3m wide, with a 3m wide shared cycleway and foot-way running alongside.

It would have one uncontrolled pedestrian crossing and three roundabouts – one at either end and a central roundabout ‘to serve future development’.

To view the application, log on to www.westsussex.gov.uk/planning and search for WSCC/052/20.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10.30am and will be webcast via westsussex.public-i.tv .