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Public Meeting by CPRE called at Barnham Community Hall on Friday 23rd June at 7pm.

This is a very important opportunity for ALL local people to express your views at this meeting to the CPRE representative concerning the Arun Local Plan.  In particular this will be a perfect opportunity to exchange opinions and give your concerns about the emerging Local Plan to an important and potentially helpful player (Campaign to Protect Rural England) who are often able to publicise contentious issues in the National Press.  We need to make our voices heard NOW.

Please make every effort to attend this meeting and tell your friends and neighbours about it as well.  A large attendance will clearly demonstrate to the CPRE Rep that we really care about what is happening in our region.  The Local Plan Examination in Public is due to resume quite soon, so it is important to raise any outstanding issues so that hopefully the CPRE can help us to protect many aspects of our region from excessive development.

One of the new issues to discuss are recent proposals by Arun to request Parishes to look again at already approved and voted on Neighbourhood Plans in order to push even more housing onto rural communities.

Details are as follows :-

When :-  Friday 23rd June

Time :-   6.45 pm for a 7.00 pm start and 8 pm Finish, Questions/discussions until 9 pm.

Where:-  Barnham Community Hall, Yapton Road, Barnham, PO22 0AY,

Room:-   Murrells Hall

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Villages Action Group response to the May 2017 Consultation on the Arun Local Plan.

We have taken some time to examine the latest additions to the Arun Local Plan and we have the following comments to make.

The new HPA figure forced upon Arun by the last Inspector at the suspended EiP bears no relationship to the historical net migration figures in Arun District. It is a forced figure which endeavours to create an artificial housing demand in this area from non-local people for houses which are mostly unaffordable by the local population.

There are very few local employment opportunities, both now and into the foreseeable future and therefore the vast majority of the new incomers would actually be out-commuters, which will only add to the energy footprint in this area as well as adding quite unnecessary extra air pollution for the existing residents.

This Local Plan threatens mass housebuilding across the district at 1000 homes per annum over 20 years, – In our view this is an unbelievable, undeliverable and unsustainable figure.

The road infrastructure in this area will not be able to cope with such a huge traffic increase and particularly now that the improvements to the Chichester Bypass have been shelved.

The OAN figure of over 1,000 hpa should be reduced to a more sensible and achievable figure by applying constraints due to such problems as flood risk, lack of jobs, lack of road infrastructure, lack of waste water treatment facilities. The major constraint is obviously the Flood Risk issue, since the whole area is part of a major Flood Plain. Any displacement of water by excessive numbers of new foundations for houses plus covering fields with tarmac and concrete can only result in greatly increasing the Flooding Risk to many EXISTING properties even if the new houses are built much higher to alleviate their own flood risk. Who will compensate existing home owners when their properties are ruined by floods caused as a consequence of excessive house building nearby?

In particular, we believe that the scheme to build 2,300 houses at BEW is undeliverable because there is now no plan apparently for the new road over the railway to be built before the house building begins (due to lack of finances). This would make an already difficult situation with the Woodgate Level Crossing even more problematic since the extra car traffic will cause even larger tailbacks which would never clear. Unless the road can be funded from the outset of the scheme and BUILT, then the whole idea of allowing things to take their course is fantasy. This is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The Fontwell roundabout must also be included in any road upgrade scheme, because it is presently very difficult and dangerous at rush hours with the existing traffic load. All the new traffic which will mainly be heading North (since there are very few well paying jobs in Arun) will have to use the Fontwell Roundabout to reach the A27 or A29 so it is imperative that this is part of the scheme.

This area has large amounts of high quality land ideal for growing food. It is surely a crime against the future population to remove it from the Earthʼs resources permanently at a time when the population of our world is rocketing to huge levels at an alarming rate. We simply cannot afford to throw it away purely to accommodate a Government diktat, and, at the same time make many developers exceedingly rich at our expense. This land is irreplaceable. Greenfield Land should NOT be built upon now that we are in this never before experienced rate of population growth.

Only Brownfield land which has been previously built on or contaminated in some way and is unfit for growing crops should be used for new house building. Of course, any contamination should be removed before new building starts. When the Eco-Town was proposed at Ford Airfield in an earlier version of the Local Plan, the Council opposed it as unsustainable (in 2008) and yet it was on largely Brownfield land (a derelict WW2 airfield with huge concrete runways). However, we are now expected to accept similar size developments all over our district on Greenfield Land this time without any accompanying infrastructure or special technology supporting them as well as no extra road networks to help avoid massive traffic problems. Ford itself has a fairly small number of houses proposed in the latest LP version(1500 houses), and apparently, according to some sources, residents here would welcome more houses in order to prevent Ford being turned into a Waste Treatment centre. Oddly, Ford already has a very new Waste Water treatment plant which would be very useful for a larger scale development and it is mid way between Bognor and Littlehampton which make it much more sustainable in terms of commuting and employment. Ford also has a Main Line Hub Railway Station for any longer distance commuters plus the fact that the A27 Arundel Bypass has been confirmed by HM Gov for completion in 2022. All these factors must surely now make Ford far more suitable for large scale development (up to 5,000 houses) than any of the other Greenfield proposals in this latest version of the Plan.

We believe that the Sustainability Appraisal included in the documentation does not compare like with like and is therefore fatally flawed in a similar manner to the SA in the previous version of the LP. A glaring example which just repeats the errors made in the previous version is shown Table 4, Page 11 of the Non-Technical SA summary. When any comparisons between the Barnham/Eastergate/Westergate (BEW) site are made with the Ford site, there is a distinctly lower number of houses at Ford in ALL comparisons. How is this a balanced and non-predetermined Appraisal of just these two sites ? In fact Ford has a maximum of 2,000 houses proposed in only 2 scenarios, whereas BEW is NEVER BELOW 2,000 and is often 3,000 houses. How can this be justified when even in Arunʼs original own HELAA list Ford was determined to be very able to handle up to 5,000 houses ? Why has Ford been given special treatment with LOW numbers throughout except for just 2 scenarios and BEW has been given very HIGH numbers from the word go for ALL scenarios ? Any reasonable person would have to conclude that there is a bias in the way the two sites are being comparitively assessed. We do not accept that this SA document is a competent and balanced piece of work – based upon just this evidence alone. We have not the time to find all the other errors which may exist in this SA, but the BEW/Ford comparison is so glaring that we would not be surprised at all if some of the other comparisons were also flawed badly. Table 6 on P. 13 summarises the Final Housing Trajectory figures. Once again, BEW scores almost the highest housing numbers at 2,300 whereas Ford has a paltry 1,500. WHY ?? Ford is in Flood Zone 1 and is at much less risk than much of the BEW site for ground water flooding. Other areas such as Pagham are also at greater flood risk and yet in these proposals, up to 900 houses are planned.

A final point we wish to make is that Arun District Council has not communicated adequately with local residents about this latest incarnation of the Local Plan. There have not been the usual door to door poster drops and there have been NO presentations of the new changes at local Parish Consultation events. It is truly appalling that we, as local residents have apparently not warranted such events this time around. This is a point we have made to the Inspector.

Yours faithfully,

Laurie Ward,
Villages Action Group

VAG Contact Email:-

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Complaint letter to Inspector regarding Arun Local Plan

For the Attention of the Inspector for the Arun Local Plan EiP,

Re – The Arun Local Plan Consultation on Main Modifications 2011 to 2031.

Dear Sir,

We wish to lodge a complaint with you against the Local Planning Authority, Arun District Council for their inadequate communication, poor publicity and lack of engagement with district residents with relation to the latest Local Plan Consultation Process.

The Villages Action Group which represents the Inland Villages within the Parishes of Aldingbourne, Eastergate, Barnham believe that the Local Plan process has fallen short of the requirements laid down for it to be positively prepared.

Meaningful consultation should seek to first apply appropriate publicity with the aim of maximum engagement with the residents. – In our opinion, Arun have not.

Following proper publicity, the Local Planning Authority should seek to communicate effectively, reflecting residents lack of expertise in such matters and enable easy engagement. – Arun have not done so.

For those residing in the district who have the level of expertise which enables them to take part in this consultation exercise, they should be provided with accurate references, with correct content. – Arun have not done this.

To properly engage in this consultation, residents would have to either approach their Parish Council to seek their view in the consultation or contact a planning consultant to obtain their assistance. The level of technical expertise required to make a meaningful submission, leading to its inclusion in the outcome consideration is unlikely to be achievable by the majority of residents.

If a resident was to self educate them self on the process of engaging in the consultation, the time required to study the plan main modifications, make sense of it and form a response rationale would require more time than the period made available by Arun.

Arun have a very poor record on obtaining residents engagement, and this for a district that has a very high level of made Neighbourhood Development Plans which have all been positively prepared, through high levels of community engagement obtained through well-publicised Parish Consultation events.

Finally, district residents have to plot their way through the planning maze, be it Parish Council seeking their involvement in Neighbourhood Plans, the Parish Council’s or District Councils seeking their responses to speculative planning applications, or be it a District Council seeking their engagement in the long running Arun Local Plan process. The outcome is predictable, – that residents will often not bother as they have become increasingly perplexed by planning matters as well as cynical as a result of Arun’s poor performance in planning matters.

Arun District Council (ADC), in the views of many residents, falls far short of the aims and objectives of Positively Prepared Plans and in light of this The Villages Action Group respectfully requests that you instruct ADC to undertake the following…

Extend the consultation deadline by six weeks to enable the following:

  • Properly publicise the consultation through ALL media.
  • Organise consultation events across the district.
  • Write to all households explaining this consultation in a detail that successfully informs the residents of the process.

We thank you in advance for your consideration of these requests and look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

Laurie Ward,
The Villages Action Group

VAG Contact Email:-

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The Arun District Council local plan consultation period for major modifications ends 31st of May 2017

Despite efforts to get this consultation period extended Arun have declined therefore we are left with the deadline as it stands of 31st of May 2017.

Our semi rural way of life is continuously under threat and we are urgently requesting that you take action again.

The local plan threatens mass house building across the district at 1000 plus homes per annum over 20 years an unbelievable, undeliverable and an unsustainable figure.
With our community facing 3000+ houses in the fields south of Manor farm and Arun’s continued policy to realign the A29 it requires urgent action by us the local residents to submit our objections by the end of the consultation period to this house building madness.
Please find the time to follow the visit the Arun local plan portal and make your submissions.
You may wish to comment on :
  • Flooding threats as outlined in The VAG Richard Allitt report, sewage treatment lack of capacity, ongoing pollution to our countryside and the villages caused by pre-existing lack of infrastructure.
  • On the loss of production high-grade farmland and wildlife habitats. Our local fields are amongst the most high grade farm land in the whole district.
  • A lack of employment for the thousands of new residents that will move to the area causing more out commuting and a further burden on our overstretched local infrastructure.
  • The A27! We are all aware that it is beyond capacity , Fontwell roundabout Arundel and the Chichester bypass.
These matters have to be solved long before any housing development commences on the scale that Arun intends and the argument for development in higher numbers in the Ford area becomes more and more relevant.
You may also want to point out that whatever the housing need studies suggest our district cannot sustain the numbers being pushed by the District Council and Government. The sustainability appraisal conducted by Arun does not adequately cover the burden of the projected housing numbers and therefore cannot be used to support the mass house building that will follow.

In summary please focus on:

  • Lack of existing local infrastructure
  • Congested local road network
  • Congested county highway road network
  • Already understandable out commuting caused by lack of local employment opportunities
  • An inadequate sustainability appraisal that does not reflect the local areas capacity to accommodate and sustain major housing development
  • Loss of high-grade productive farmland in a rural and semi rural economy
  • The housing numbers are truly mind-boggling 1000+ new dwellings per annum for 20 years, it is unbelievable that 20,000 more homes are intended.
Your submission can be lengthy or short, it does not matter, but it is vital that you do make a submission and that the inspector understands the strength of local opposition to these unsustainable house building numbers contained within the Arun local plan.
It is also vital that you point out that Arun does not communicate, our district Council is woeful in providing local residents with information firstly to inform us and then enabling us to participate in this below the radar consultation process.

It is another call to action and following on for the superb response to Cala homes, please take up your pens and keyboards once more and make your voice heard.

Please direct any questions as per normal to the website.

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Highway concerns and problems with the Cala Homes application. Please include these valid points in your objections.

If you have already submitted an objection send the following in as a supplementary objection.

Deadline for objections extended to 20th April 2017

  1. Traffic travelling north along the A29 is met with a left-hand bend, which limits line of sight immediately before the proposed new junction. The forward visibility to offside primary signal at 60 meters is significantly less than Highways standards of 90 metre for new junctions. A traffic light at this point would cause traffic to also back-up south towards the railway crossing and vehicles travelling north round this blind bend would often find stationary traffic in their path and have little distance remaining to stop their vehicle. Cala Homes are requesting that an exception be made to Highway Authority standards to allow this dangerous junction to be built on the grounds that signal control is being installed at an existing junction in a constrained urban area. This is not an existing junction. Cala Homes propose to create this junction by building a new road to join the A29 to what is an extension of Pine Close. Also the A29 at Westergate Street passes through a built-up area and is a very busy major road with a high density of traffic so it should not be considered as a quiet constrained urban road where relaxation of standards would not create additional safety risks.
  2. Westergate Street is a major road with a high density of traffic and is used by heavy vehicles and cyclists so the planned lane widths at the junction of 3 metre and 3.3 metre (Sight Access General Arrangement, drawing 3258/GA/002) is significantly less than Highways standards of 4 metre for new junctions and therefore presents a safety issue particularly for cyclists.
  3. Space for right turners to wait at the junction is limited to one car and road widths are such that a second car or a heavy vehicle wanting to turn right would block straight-ahead traffic. It is suggested that there is insufficient space available at this location for the design of a safe and efficient 4-way traffic light controlled junction.
  4. As there are no provisions for a separate site entrance all construction traffic will have to use this junction to enter the site. This means that heavy vehicles, some of which will have abnormal loads, the delivery of heavy machinery, removing spoil, delivering construction components and making material deliveries will also have to use this traffic light controlled junction creating even more congestion and safety concerns.
  5. All 350 proposed homes will enter/exit the estate using only one road. The present houses on this road have limited off-road parking resulting in residents and their visitors parking on the road at a point very close to the proposed new junction. Also at this same point the road is crossed by a well used public footpath and during peak times many footpath users are children travelling by foot or bicycle to Eastergate Primary School, Ormiston Six Villages Academy and to Aldingbourne Primary School. The Cala Homes plan also proposes to reroute traffic from Swan Court/Pine Close to this same point. It is suggested that a change of access for Swan Court/Pine Close would only add to the congestion at this point and that there is a serious hazard to footpath users attempting to cross the road.
  6. There is a major error on the submitted Sight Access General Arrangement, drawing 3258/GA/002. The principle access road to the new estate is not 6.5 metres. The existing road, which is sandwiched between a public footpath and some new houses, is only 6 metres in width. The implication of this is that claims by Cala Homes that the principle access road to their estate from Westergate Street could be used in the future for a scheduled bus service is not true as the Highway Authority requires a carriageway significantly wider than 6 metres for a bus route. Also the Cala Homes suggestion that the principle access road to their estate could form part of a future major route east appears unlikely when the road width is only 6 metres and is further restricted by on-road parking by existing residents.
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Join us for a Rally on Sunday 19th March 2017 at 11am

Meet by the footpath behind Ivy Lane

for more details email 

The Cala Homes application (AL/15/17/PL) for up to 350 homes has now been validated and have until 9th April to express our views. Please write to Arun DC and object to the application – if you go to and enter the application number you can comment online as well as viewing the plans.

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