UPDATE: Major planning policies take shape for Bognor Regis area

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ROOM sizes, sewer improvements and the protection of the countryside have been highlighted in an important document set to determine land use around Bognor Regis for the next 15 years.

The dozens of policies which make up the bulk of Arun District Council’s latest draft plans have been backed by its local plan sub-committee last night (Thursday, January 30).

They will go before all councillors on Tuesday, February 11 for final approval. They omit the controversial matter of large scale housing sites.

These will be decided at later meetings before the complete draft version is sent to the government for an examination in public by a planning inspector.

Once this has been completed, the plan will take effect and determine the shape of the district well into the next decade.

Simon Meecham, Arun’s head of planning policy and conservation, said it was important the plan was decided quickly to stop developers trying to take advantage of the fact the council’s current planning policies go back to 2013.

“We want to get the local plan on track as fast as we possibly can and ensure the non-contentious issues in it can take affect as soon as possible,” he said.

“This will allow the development control committee to begin to use them and to road test them as to how they might begin to influence their decisions on developments submitted to us for consideration,” he added.

But councillors were warned the policies would still lack the weight of those from 2003.

The latest versions will only come into effect once the complete plan is sent to the government. It is not known when this will be.

Cllr Jacqueline Maconachie, the development control committee’s chairman, said: “I want the public to know we are still vulnerable, although we can say this is an emerging plan.

“Whether that will have any truck with the planning inspectors, we will not know until we get there. There are quite a number of horticultural sites coming forward for housing applications.

“If we can’t give some weight to this policy now, it is going to very much reduced in its effectiveness.”

For a full report on the meeting see the Bognor Regis Observer out on Thursday, February 6.