Pagham hotel owner responds to criticism of development behind his business

A Pagham hotel owner has responded to calls for development of new housing behind his business to stop due to a ‘narrow’ access lane.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 1:30 pm
A vehicle attempting to navigate the access point

Tony Honour and his family have owned and run The Inglenook Hotel in Pagham Road for just under 50 years.

In 2019, they applied for planning permission to build nine houses on a field behind the hotel (P/58/19/PL).

This was turned down by Arun District Council’s planning committee which felt the development would ‘result in significant conflicts between

A vehicle attempting to navigate the access point

highways users to the detriment of highway safety’ making it ‘not safe or secure’.

This followed multiple objections from nearby residents but Mr Honour appealed the decision and won in December 2020.

The planning inspector awarded costs, saying that the local authority received ‘technical and detailed highway safety information’ which concluded the proposed development ‘would not be harmful to highway safety’.

Now construction is under way but one resident of nearby Spinnaker View, William Lazell, has called the site ‘dangerous’.

A vehicle attempting to navigate the access pointA vehicle attempting to navigate the access point

Mr Lazell said: “This is a dangerous site. Surely they must be forced to stop before someone is seriously hurt.

“A lorry took 20 minutes trying to negotiate the bend in the access road and it very nearly took out my rear garden fence.

“The fumes and noise from revving backwards and forwards is not acceptable; we don’t feel safe in our garden.

“The service road is not wide enough to accommodate this type of traffic.”

Application site in red

But Mr Honour, who submitted the plans, has now responded, saying he has had a cordial relationship with the neighbouring community and sought to limit the scale of the development from the start.

“We have always not only cared but gone out of our way to help anyone in our village,” Mr Honour said.

“We have ourselves had to deal with the inconvenience of building works going on when the estate next door to us was built. 

“We developed a good relationship with the builders and accepted that it would finish soon enough.

Proposed layout of the new homes

“We could easily have applied to pack many houses on our acre but instead opted for a lovely development of nine houses.”

He says the site has been sold on and claims the new owner ‘has gone out of his way to accommodate any complaints’.

“It seems a great pity that those who were so opposed to our small development didn‘t concentrate their efforts into much larger sites with questionable entrances in the village,” he added.

“The bottom line is the appeal officer saw fit to pass the plans and felt so strongly that our plans should have been passed, they awarded us costs.

“At some point the complainers may have to just accept the decision of the professional.”

Mr Honour described how his family had ‘worked incredibly hard’ to build their hotel business and says his 87-year-old mother ‘still works many hours a day’.

The hotel owner said the family ‘served the elderly and needy in the community’ during lockdown and described the good relationship they have had with neighbours over the years.

Hugh Coster (Ind, Aldwick East) was one member of the planning committee who objected to the development.

He says he has a reputation for ‘going out and measuring access roads’ and explained his decision, saying: “Myself and other Arun councillors strongly objected, principally on the basis that the access road was far too narrow for a development of nine houses, with an awkward blind bend in the middle and an awkward and potentially dangerous exit on to Pagham Road.

“When the matter went to appeal the inspector allowed it, with costs against the council. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost.

“You can see there is considerable distress about the matter, and what is likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

“It is a prime example of ill-considered planning applications causing problems for local residents.”