Arun’s lack of identified land for housing trumped residents’ concerns as councillors approved controversial plans for scores of homes in Yapton.
Land off Burndell Road was deemed unsuitable for development in the village’s neighbourhood plan, an official document residents produced to map out the future of their area.
But Arun District Council’s development control committee granted outline permission for up to 108 homes on Wednesday (July 15) after being told the plan was ‘out of date’ as the council could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.
“It’s such a shame that all the work, especially the turnout for the neighbourhood plan, that in the situation we find ourselves our town and parish neighbourhood plans are turning out not to be worth a hill of beans,” said councillor Jim Brooks, to claps from residents.
Yapton Parish Council, Climping Parish Council and 44 residents objected, arguing the site was outside the built-up area and was ‘wholly inappropriate’.
But planning agent Rachel Scott claimed the plans were a ‘logical extension’ to the village, with housing soon set to be present on three sides of the field.
She said the homes would help address Arun’s land supply shortfall, while council housing officer Andy Elder welcomed the 30 per cent affordable homes pledge, which would help reduce the district’s 950-strong housing waiting list.
A lack of capacity in schools, health facilities and infrastructure was another chief concern.
Criticising West Sussex County Council highways decision not to object to the plans, councillor Barbara Oakley said: “It is absolutely insane. I just don’t understand West Sussex Highways. Why don’t they sit on the junction and check the flow?
“It is now so bad that even at 11am you can’t get out without waiting several minutes.”
Highways deemed the likely impact to be negligible but acknowledged existing issues with local junctions, including Comet Corner.
Councillor Ricky Bower said Highways should demand financial contributions from developers to improve Comet Corner.
The plans were approved by eight votes to four, with one abstention.
A further application will be submitted at a later date on the specific details, with all matters apart from access reserved.
For the story on resident reaction to the plans click here