Planners test 1,000-home target as part of local plan

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PLANNERS will test Arun’s potential to accommodate up to 1,000 new homes per year as part of the latest work on the district’s local plan.

Arun District Council was last month tasked with investigating whether it could meet an annual target of 845 homes – but council officers hope also testing a higher number will satisfy a Government inspector that all options have been taken into account.

The council has to test a range of targets as part of the plan process and the final figure could be increased or reduced, depending on the evidence.

It has identified broad areas for potential major housing allocations as part of several scenarios but in many cases, specific sites have not been identified.

Speaking at the local plan sub-committee on Tuesday, chairman Jacqui Maconachie said: “At this stage they are just general areas, so it would be quite wrong to draw a line around them until they have been thoroughly investigated.”

The council has, meanwhile, been actively seeking new potential sites in a call to landowners.

A report to the committee detailed several options, which have been assessed by officers.

They included land off New Barn Lane, Bersted, being promoted by the landowner for between 80 and 450 homes, earmarked as having potential.

Land at Walberton Green, which could accommodate 30 homes, has been rejected at this time due to access and conservation area issues.

Another Walberton site, off Freeman Close, has potential for between 20 and 160 homes.

Smaller sites in Yapton have also been put forward, with land at North End Road a possible location for development but a plot at Main Road rejected.

Officers stressed that identifying a site as having potential would not necessarily lead to planning permission being granted and was part of the ongoing process.

A spokesman for Arun said: “Arun District Council is gathering information and evidence to assist members to determine which sites could be included in the local plan.

“The local plan sub-committee considered a report that explained the council will need to review the available sites through seeking up-to-date information and employment sites to meet new Government guidance on combining the number of houses and jobs.”

Officers corrected an unfortunate misspelling in the committee papers on Tuesday, which referred to the village of Westergate as ‘Watergate’.