For the Attention of the Inspector for the Arun Local Plan EiP,
Re – The Arun Local Plan Consultation on Main Modifications 2011 to 2031.
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.
The Villages Action Group
VAG Contact Email:- firstname.lastname@example.org