Arun District Council is very disappointed with the recent comments of Nick Herbert MP regarding the future provision of housing in Arun.
The council feels our MP is putting excessive and unwarranted emphasis on recently published planning guidance, which only clarifies the interpretation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – a framework fully endorsed by Members of Parliament in 2012. The council will make a final decision on the location for future growth on Wednesday, April 30.
The council’s overall strategy for its local plan is very much focused on improving the local economy, meeting housing needs and addressing some of our infrastructure deficit.
All of this fits with both the NPPF and the recent guidance. Mr Herbert is right to encourage development on ‘brownfield’ sites first.
Indeed, the recommendations that council will be considering on April 30 include a proposal that the West Bank of Littlehampton be considered further as a possible development allocation towards the end of the local plan period.
The only other brownfield site in Arun of any size is the former airfield at Ford, and the brownfield parts there are limited to the former runways. Indeed, Mr Herbert campaigned against development on this site when it was proposed as an Eco Town in 2008.
It is important that the council moves forward positively with its plan, as the best safeguard against speculative development is to have a robust plan in place which meets the needs of present and future generations and also to stay in line with recent infrastructure investment policy as stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his budget, just last month.
Assistant director of planning and economic regeneration at Arun District Council
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