Barnham Meeting at Parish Hall 25/08/12 – 80 local residents in attendance. Hall was full.
Chairman Dave Phillips made the important points that none of the possible routes for the road were acceptable because they were not backed up by any credible evidence that any would work. There was also no evidence in the Draft Local Plan that the 2,500 houses (at last count) proposed are needed in this location. He urged Arun DC to re-consider the plan and go for a more sustainable solution for a link between Bognor Regis and the A27.
He requested that Arun DC withdraw their proposal and urged them to go for the lower target of Option 1 in rates of house building.
He also said that the timing of the Local plan which is out before the Neighbourhood plan was not the way it should be. The Local Plan should actually follow the Neighbourhood plan.
Other points made were that jobs should precede the housing. The Plan appeared to be “aspirational” rather than realistic. There was NO flood risk assessment in the Local Plan
A moratorium was called for on ‘cowboy’ building applications before the Local Plan was adopted. He also said that no conclusions could be drawn about the need for an A29 bypass at least until the Bognor Relief Road is completed (in 4 years ?).
The Villages Action Group Chairman made some points about Options 1 and 2 in house building nos. and commended the comments made by Cllr Phillips.
Eastergate Meeting at Eastergate Parish Hall 30/08/12 – The hall was again full with over 180 in attendance.
The meeting was addressed by the Eastergate Parish Chairman, Cllr Chris Allington.
In general the same points were made about the unsustainability of the Arun Draft Local Plan as were made at Barnham. The audience did not need convincing. There was unanimous agreement that the plan for over 2000 houses and the bypass road which did not actually go anywhere were not wanted by the villages. The siting of the houses was not appropriate and there was no evidence in the Plan to justify the need. Once again, the point was made by Cllr Allington that the jobs should come before the need for the extra houses. None of the routes for the bypass road was deemed suitable. They all dumped traffic into the villages in inappropriate places.
A lively public session followed where many residents made very good additional points.
A Villages Action Group member stated that the probable cost of such a development as proposed with full infrastructure requirements would cost out nearer to £90 Million, rather than the very low £20 Million estimate that Arun DC are using.
The Villages Action Group supplied Consultation Forms and help sheets for the meeting to assist residents in how to comprehend and comment on the Draft Local Plan.