CONTROVERSIAL plans for two blocks of flats next to a refuse trucks depot on a busy Littlehampton industrial estate have been rejected by Arun councillors.
The site, in Fort Road West, was described as “totally inappropriate” for housing families by Mike Northeast, councillor for the area, at last week’s Arun development control committee.
There was no footpath on that side of the road, large lorries were “lumbering” past it all day long and refuse trucks from the Verdant depot immediately next to the site pumped out polluting fumes when their engines were started up early in the morning, said Mr Northeast and other councillors who unanimously voted against the plans.
They also criticised the potential loss of a commercial site when the district needed to be attracting more jobs, and pointed out that major housing schemes would soon be underway at Courtwick and North Littlehampton.
Town councillor Jill Long, chairman of Littlehampton Town Council’s planning committee, underlined the council’s objection to the Fort Road West development, for two two-storey blocks, one with five two-bedroom flats and the other with three one-bedroom flats, on the site of the Fort Road Garage.
The town council, she said, was concerned about the safety of children who would be living in the flats, with no footpath on that side of the road.
She also urged the committee to consider the air quality of the area, with pollution coming from the exhausts of trucks from the refuse depot, especially when they started up their engines in the early morning during cold weather.
Mr Northeast said the proposed development completely undermined the success of a new road built 10 years ago to take industrial estate traffic away from residential areas next to the industrial estate.
“Now we are proposing to put a residential development on the industrial estates,” he declared.
Arun had been demolishing flats nearby and replacing them with family houses, which was what people wanted, not to live in flats, he added.
“It’s totally inappropriate to put families into flats. It’s totally inappropriate to build flats in commercial areas such as this.”
The committee refused planning permission on the grounds that the size and location of the blocks were an “unacceptable overdevelopment” and the lack of “residential amenity” for future residents.