About the VAG


The Villages Action Group (VAG) was originally formed in 2003 to fight proposals for large-scale development of greenfield sites around the villages of Aldingbourne and Westergate that were being promoted as part of the West Sussex Structure Plan. VAG fought a long and hard campaign which resulted in the Structure Plan “Area of Search” being widened to “Arun District – West of the River Arun”. This was a major achievement for the local community.

Despite this previous victory, the threat of large-scale greenfield development is certainly back.

Option 3 in the previous Local Development Framework suggested possible major development in the Six Villages area.  No specific sites were ever finalised, but many possible sites were under consideration within the SHLAA.  Option 1 suggested urban extensions to both Bognor and Littlehampton, with minor numbers within the 6 Villages area.  Option 2 was the Eco Town at the Brownfield site of Ford Airfield. If you want more information about the way in which this apparently sensible option was eliminated from the list then visit here.

The Hallam Land proposal for Aldingbourne/Westergate (although the word Aldingbourne was never mentioned much to the fury of the locals) was shelved in 2010.

The last General Election caused the old LDF plan to be scrapped and some of us thought that we might be safe for a while from the development threat due to the economic situation etc

The new Draft Local Plan 2012 is due for Public Consultation from 19th July until 10th September.  There are only 2 Options now which are different rates of house building. However there is only ONE site Option  for building the 2.230 houses. That is, on top of the villages of Aldingbourne and Nyton and the settlements of Eastergate, Westergate and Barnham.

The above information is now very out of date and will be updated when the EiP is completed.


5 Responses to About the VAG

  1. Stuart Morris says:

    Check out VAG’s new Facebook page for latest news and views on Mr Bower and other issues:
    Like us, have your say and invite your friends!

  2. elizabeth arman says:

    As a resident of aldingbourne I am very concerned with what is happening to our five villages.Since moveing to this area in 1994.I have seen a dramatic change in our .Traffic congestion.Terrible trouble getting into the doctors surgery .No facilities for the young at all.& as a parent of three children ,one of which is in her 3rd year at winchester university.I am realy concerned that there is no work at all in our area.Young need to have the chance to make a way in life as well.Flooding our area with yet more housing is not the answer but it will cause yet more problems.

  3. The laws of natural justice have underpinned the English legal system since Roman times. They protect against arbitrary exercise of power by ensuring fair play.

    The principles of natural justice form two basic legal safeguards that govern all decisions by judges or government officials when they take quasi-judicial or judicial decisions. One is nemo judex in parte sua (no person may judge their own case) and the other is audi alteram partem (the right to be heard).

    (1) Audi alteram partem (Latin for, hear the other side): no accused or a person directly affected by a decision, shall be condemned unless given full chance to prepare and submit his or her case and rebuttal to the opposing party’s arguments.

    (2) Nemo judex in causa sua (Latin for, no man a judge in his own case): no decision is valid if it was influenced by any financial consideration or other interest or bias of the decision maker.
    These principles apply to decisions of all governmental agencies and tribunals, and judgments of all courts, which may be declared to be of having no effect (ultra vires) if found in contravention of natural justice.

    A council cannot campaign against something (the “council-led community campaign” against the principle of an Eco Town) and at the same time consider it with an open mind (the Eco Town Select Committee) – Nemo judex in causa sua. Bias of the decision maker!

    Arun now seeks to use the findings of the Eco Town Select Committee as its justification against a new settlement on brownfield land and instead to justify development of large swathes of greenfield land across the district.

    I hope that the residents most affected by this – in Angmering, Eastergate, Aldingbourne and Barnham, and their democratically elected representatives, will include this point in their response to the current public consultation – in order to receive an independent opinion from the Planning Inspectorate when it is considered in a quasi judicial context.

  4. Ken Holmes says:

    How can a credible and desirable Local District Plan be produced before Neighbourhood Plans which will reflect the views, needs and wishes of the local residents have been produced and considered? Shouldn’t “localisation” and democracy mean a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down is the right way to proceed?
    Having read parts of the draft Local Plan and attended the Eastergate consultation event this morning, I am still no wiser as to why this amount of housing is needed. The number of unsold houses about at the moment does not indicate a strong unsatisfied demand here.
    The destruction of our villages’ environment by introducing 2000+ houses in order to fund a bridge over the railway to make Bognor more approachable is too high a price to pay . I cannot believe that the Woodgate Crossing is the major factor in deterring people from going there. If improved traffic flow is the aim, why not install sensors to detect unacceptably long tailbacks and halt the trains until the tailback is cleared. Certainly this could be achieved for less than the £20 million quoted for a bridge.

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