The CPRE meeting at the Barnham Village Hall on Friday 23rd June was very well attended by local people. The speakers from CPRE were Kia Trainor (the Director), and Dr Roger Smith.
Kia Trainor opened the meeting and spoke about how CPRE was keen to help organise local people into a real force to protect this beautiful part of West Sussex. She spoke about how we are faced with having to deal with the OAN number (Objectively assessed Housing Need) of over 900 houses per annum.
(VAG has recently heard news that the Government wants now to at least double the OAN number in order to force mass house building upon us all. !!!! )
The second speaker was Dr Roger Smith who gave a very informative and helpful summary of where things stand with the Arun Local Plan.
He spoke very clearly concerning the likely impossibility of Arun being able to actually build houses at the rate suggested, and the fact that builders will only build at a rate that will not collapse the house prices.
He spoke about the way developers were “hoarding” planning permissions in order to maintain prices. He criticised Arun for believing that the economy would recover quickly to align with their unrealistic projections of economic growth. He spoke about Social Housing, the NPPF, and the 5 Year Housing Land Supply problem.
He concluded by mentioning the complete lack of funding for sufficient infrastructure with large housing projects and that most of the “viability” tests for proposed developments were always heavily weighted in favour of the developers.
His full speech is here :- RFS Speech Barnham23Jun17 ADC SETTING ITSELF TO FAIL–
There were many other speakers, from Angmering Parish Council, Martin Beaton of Aldingbourne PC. Chris Allington of Eastergate PC and Terry Ellis from Littlehampton as well as a District Councillor. Terry Ellis suggested Crowd Funding in order to support our own legal challenge to this excessive house building.
At the end, Kia Trainor called for the formation of a group of local people to co-ordinate and plan for a suitable strategy to oppose the plans for mass house building in the area. This will involve commissioning of external support at some stage. The Villages Action Group has agreed to participate in any group that evolves from this CPRE meeting. We are now awaiting further direction from CPRE and will respond as required. However, we do still require more local people to give their time and energy to the Villages Action Group. Donations are also required in order to help us in this fight. Please use the Donation tag in the right-hand column to send any donations.