THE outcome of the local elections is now clear, but where does that leave the Arun local plan?
When Arun’s councillors voted in April 2014 the majority of Conservative members did not support the local plan.
Cllr Mrs. Brown and Cllr Bower managed to get their local plan through only with the support of a handful of opposition councillors, most of whom are now gone.
Many of those councillors who supported the local plan did so, not because of its policies, but out of fear of planning by appeal if they did not.
Yet, in spite of those fears, as we now know,
the cabinet member for planning has failed to maintain a five-year Housing Land Supply, and the district is in any case wide open to predatory planning applications.
The very thing that some councillors sought to avoid has happened anyway!
Since April 2014 there have been two major ‘game changers’ which councillors have not yet had the opportunity to consider.
Funding for an A27 Arundel bypass has been announced and the council’s Enterprise Zone bid did not make the short list announced in the chancellor’s recent budget statement.
Now we have a new administration at Arun.
Of those councillors who were returned, only 18 out of 54 actually supported the local plan. That’s a rather poor 33.3 per cent.
The other 66.6 per cent of councillors either opposed the local plan or have not yet had a say.
Only 15 of the current Conservatives supported the local plan. Of those, six were cabinet members and nine were back benchers!
The examination in public starts on June 2.
Will Councillor Mrs Brown seek the democratic approval of the new administration before the EiP takes the decision out of the ouncillors’ hands or will she deny the new council the opportunity to have its say?
Does Cllr Mrs Brown have the guts to call for an urgent vote of confidence in her local plan?