VILLAGERS are being urged to make a stand against even more large housing developments in Angmering, where sites for 600 homes have already been earmarked by Arun District Council.
Its just under two weeks until a referendum on the village’s neighbourhood plan will give residents the chance to support proposals to limit further new housing, while at the same time recommending three smaller schemes for a total of just over 100 homes.
Copies of the plan are now being delivered across the village, more than three years after work started on drafting the 98-page document. It was drawn up in response to the Government’s ‘localism’ agenda, intended to give people a say in how their communities developed over time – in the case of Angmering, up to 2029.
The referendum asks voters whether they want Arun District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority to use the neighbourhood plan to help them when deciding planning applications in the area covered by the plan.
The steering group which put in many hours preparing the plan hopes that a resounding ‘yes’ vote will convince the two planning authorities of the need to bear Angmering’s plan in mind when taking key decisions.
However, it can’t stop the 600 homes being built on land east of Roundstone Lane, which Arun District Council has allocated for development as part of its own local plan, now going through the final stages. There was bitter opposition to these plans, but building has already started.
So is there any point in having the plan? The steering group thinks so, and told the Gazette: “Some people may think that the plan is too late, as planning permission has already been granted for a large number of houses along Roundstone Lane. It cannot stop that but if the majority vote is Yes and the plan is adopted, then this can have major effect on the rest of the parish where we already know the developers are queuing up to build, build, build in our lovely village.”
Villagers had several opportunities to comment on the plan, which had to clear several stages before the referendum, and which contains policies to protect the parish and enhance Angmering for its residents and businesses. There was a good level of response from villagers and the steering group hopes that will be repeated when the polling stations are open on January 22.