Village attempts to stem tide of housing

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DEVELOPERS have been accused of rushing through large-scale housing schemes to beat a village’s planning blueprint.

It will be at least another seven months before Angmering’s neighbourhood plan is finalised, and already proposals have been submitted for more than 400 homes, out of the 600 Arun District Council wants to be built on land east of Roundstone Lane.

The draft plan opposes the major developments and, if approved in a village referendum in December, will bolster Angmering’s defence against further housing plans.

“We knew that these developments would go in to try to beat our plan,” said Pat Turner, who has been leading the steering group drafting the community plan.

“We have tried to say, in our plan, that Angmering is full, there is no more room.”

The draft plan has reached a crucial stage just as Arun has voted to earmark land at Roundstone Lane, in the village, for a ‘garden city’-style development of 600 homes (see special feature, pages 4/5).

Today, Arun councillors were due to consider three housing applications for 370 of those 600 homes, with officers recommending they should be approved.

Mrs Turner admitted little could be done to stop the tide of housing heading for the village following Arun’s vote last week, but she insisted there was still much that the community’s own blueprint could do to shape the village’s future.

“We know we are going to have some housing in Angmering, but we are just trying to control the volume we end up with. Hopefully, our plan will have some effect on any further developments,” she said.

A six-week consultation on the plan is now underway and Mrs Turner encouraged villagers to study the document and to make their feelings known on its content.

“The more people who do, the more weight it gives to the plan. We can only put in what the people have told us they want.”

The draft opposes Arun’s housing plans for land east of Roundstone Lane, arguing the sites are beyond the built-up area, are too far from the centre of the village to be ‘sustainable’ and, in the case of the West End Nursery, would lead to jobs being lost.

However, it supports proposals for up to 100 homes, on two sites at Mayflower Way, to the south of the Bramley Green estate, and in Water Lane, soon to be vacated by car dealer Chandlers.

Other issues covered in the plan include provision of a new youth centre, school places, steps to protect village shops, additional allotments and policies for parking, public transport and traffic.

Villagers have until June 11 to comment on the draft before the steering group decides whether to make any amendments based on the responses. The plan then goes before an independent examiner and if it clears this hurdle a copy will be sent out to every home in the village, with a referendum in December asking residents if they support the plan, or not.

Only the village south of the A27 is covered by the plan, and not the rest, in the South Downs National Park.

The plan can be seen at where comments can also be made online. Paper copies are available at the village library and the parish council office in The Square.