Residents to keep on fighting new homes

DEFIANT residents will not let large-scale housing developments ruin Yapton.

That was the clear and resounding message some 80 villagers gave at a special meeting of Yapton Parish Council’s planning committee.

Villager Mr Coleman said: “Having 250 homes in this area in that location is totally and utterly unacceptable.

“It would be a deathtrap to traffic using North End Road.”

Other villagers also voiced their fears about increased traffic and flooding.

They also worried about the lack of facilities in the village to be able to cope with the number of new residents.

The public session was called to consider the parish council’s response to a planning application submitted on behalf of landowner Keith Langmead. The application is to build 250 homes on fields to the north of St Mary’s Church.

Councillors unanimously agreed to object to the plans, with committee chairman Andy Faulkner urging residents to make their voices heard and object.

“The deadline for making comments on this application has been extended until the end of January.

“I urge you all, if you have not already to put your views across, said Cllr Faulkner.

Reasons for objection included that the development is outside the built-up area and a departure from the development plan, the homes would be built on grade-one agricultural land and would damage the setting of the village’s historic church and could harm the character of the nearby conservation area.

Cllr Faulkner said: “The only vestige of hope we have now is if we can get the neighbourhood plan in place as this development is not included in it.

“If we can concentrate on making sure we can get our plan adopted as quickly as possible, it will carry some weight.”

Cllr Faulkner said the application has already attracted 78 objections.

MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb was also at the meeting held in the village hall and shared residents concerns.

Mr Gibb said: “There is government pressure on councils to plan for more houses to be built and for more jobs to be provided.

“But where will the new housing needed in Arun now end up? We have to be vigilant.”

Mr Gibb told the meeting he was very concerned to hear Arun District Council had decided to review the proposed strategic sites for housing set out in their draft local plan.

He warned residents to be ‘careful what they wish for’ when it came 
to pressuring for new infrastructure.

He said bridges over railways and relief roads to ease congestion often came with heavy price tags –like more housebuilding.