Thousands of new homes will be a ‘disaster’ for Barnham and Eastergate

The result of a planning inquiry into 400-home at Fontwell is expected shortly
The result of a planning inquiry into 400-home at Fontwell is expected shortly
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Arun District Council is ‘failing to learn from its mistakes’ and continues to ‘insufficiently engage’ with communities over where large scale housing should go. Arun District Council is ‘failing to learn from its mistakes’ and continues to ‘insufficiently engage’ with communities over where large scale housing should go.

David Philips, Barnham chairman, lambasted ADC as ‘arrogant or incompetent’, while Eastergate chairman Chris Allington likened it to the banking crisis.

Arun is updating its Local Plan, having been told it needs 919 new homes a year across the district, up from 580. Arun said it continues to work with parish councils, which have been ‘part of the process over a long period’.

Eastergate ‘called in’ ADC’s approval of Dandra Ltd’s contentious application for 400 homes east of Fontwell Avenue. A final Government decision is expected soon following a planning inquiry.

Mr Allington said the parish councils were fully expecting greenfield land between Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate to again be named a strategic site for 3,000 homes when Arun’s draft plan is released.

He said: “It’s caused a lot of anger. We are lucky enough to have a number of experts in the village but people in the district council are ignoring evidence that they plan to put 3,000 homes on a flood plain, without money for the right infrastructure.

“I liken it to the banking crisis. Bankers made vast amounts of money in all sorts of creative ways and it all came tumbling down.

“I don’t think I’m scare-mongering when I say what they end up building will be a disaster to this area.”

He added the new settlement would be bigger than Eastergate and Barnham combined.

Mr Philips shared his concerns, calling Arun ‘either arrogant or incompetent’ and adding there was particular anger over a new A29 bypass in the plans.

An ADC spokesperson said: “Arun has met with all parish councils on five occasions over the past 12 months to provide updates on how the Local Plan is progressing and we have a further meeting in April 2017. Arun are working to produce a plan that will deliver the required housing numbers in line with government policy and parishs have been part of this process over a long period of time and it is important to remember they are not immune from having to address this policy and its effects, too.”