Start of the Arun Examination in Public – 2nd June 2015 at 10.00 a.m.

Today is the day when the Inspector begins his process of deciding on Arun’s Local Plan for the next 20 years.  It is when all our work and that of many others will all come to a head and the great decision will be made. The Villages Action Group has had many events  and rallies over the last several years and we wish to thank all those of you out there who participated and gave up your time and energy and often donated money to our cause. A very heartfelt THANK YOU to you all.  We could not have done any of this without your marvelous support and help.  Your financial help in the form of generous donations has enabled us to finance our publicity, research, printing and legal help in order that we could be a significant force of opposition to the worst aspects of the Arun Local Plan.  I also wish to thank those District Councillors who gave support and encouragement to us when times were difficult while still having to maintain their neutrality in public. In particular I want to express our deep gratitude to retired Cllr Mrs Jean Goad who was always a staunch supporter and defender of the Villages at Council Meetings. Sadly, due to her age she has finally been forced to step down,  but how many of us will still be working as actively as she was  when we have reached that grand age of distinction ?   We will always be grateful for her wisdom and advice when we needed guidance in difficult times.

There is no clear announcement on the Arun DC website that the Examination in Public (EiP) is even happening.  So, here are the details in case you have the time to go along to the public gallery and observe the proceedings, known as Hearing Sessions.

It is to be conducted in Committee Rooms 1 & 2 at the Arun Civic Centre in Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF , –   a place that many of us know very well.  Members of the public may attend in the public gallery and observe the process as it unfolds. It should be very interesting to say the least.  The times are from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm and then lunch followed by a session from 2 pm onwards. No exact finish time is given for each day. You are able to come and go quietly throughout the hearings.   It is on for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Villages Action Group barrister, Dr Ashley Bowes will be speaking for us on Tuesday and on Thursday. The Barnham/Eastergate/Westergate proposals will be discussed in detail on Thursday.

This 3 day session is just the initial part of the EiP. The final part is due to happen later in the year (date to be announced). This is due to Arun DC needing to obtain extra information concerning the house building rate advised by certain consultants, based on latest demographic evidence. So this session will not be the end, just the beginning in fact.

As a final thought, – all we can hope for is that common sense and careful consideration of what is proposed plus all the possible alternatives will result in something which is more acceptable to the majority of the residents of these Villages than the prospect proposed at present.

Chairman VAG

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