The Villages Action Group made an appearance at the Opening Session of the re-started EiP following its suspension in February 2015 by the previous Inspector, Mr Roy Foster. The new Inspector is Mr Mark Dalkeyne.
Our representative on the first day was the VAG Chairman Mr Laurie Ward. The Inspector went in turn through a series of questions which he had requested be answered or discussed at this hearing.
Laurie Ward spoke mainly on the issue of whether Arun District Council conducted an adequate Public Consultation Process in relation to the major changes and additions they made to the Local Plan following the Feb 2015 suspension. There were many critical voices on this issue, most of which were highly critical of the Council’s apparent lack of consultation with the general public. Mr Ward made several points about the general lack of information about the new proposals available to the public during the consultation period. It will be up to the Inspector to decide whether there is a case for the Council to answer on this issue. It was a very important point and generated quite a lot of emotion from the participants.
Martin Beaton as Chairman of Aldingbourne Parish Council spoke on behalf of the Parish and Louise Beaton represented the Aldingbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan.
It has also been very encouraging to notice the attendance of the CPRE Director, Ms Kia Trainor , at all of the sessions so far. The Sussex Branch of CPRE has made serious representations at this EiP in defence of our countryside and has paid a large sum for a barrister to put part of their case. They are now in need of Donations to help pay for this expense. The VAG Committee is giving a considerable fraction of our remaining funds to help CPRE and we hope that some VAG members will also be able to help with a donation to CPRE. Any amount will be very helpful. Please go to the following link if you wish to Donate to CPRE. – http://www.cpresussex.org.uk/donate
The VAG is planning to attend again at the Session on Monday 25th September, when the issue of the 3,000 house proposal for Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate (BEW) will be the initial talking point. We will be making some points on the appropriateness or not of such a huge development plus points about the Infrastructure (or lack of) such as Waste Water Treatment and the Flooding question.
The link to the agendas for each day is here:- http://www.arun.gov.uk/local-plan-examination
The agenda for Monday 25th September at the Arun Civic Centre is here:-IDED34-Agenda—Session-7