VILLAGERS in Climping are celebrating the news that a controversial plan to expand Rudford Industrial Estate has been thrown out by Arun planners.
Arun District Council refused the proposal to build a new storage depot on Ford Airfield to the west of the industrial estate.
The plan had prompted widespread concern in the village, who were worried it could ‘obliterate’ Climping’s rural feel.
Campaigners have since welcomed the news the plan has been thrown out.
David Miranda, co-chairman of the community organisation Clymping Field Protection Group, said: “We’re delighted to see he council acting so promptly to reject the Rudford application.”
The news comes after more than 50 villagers united with Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb against the scheme. It could have seen a large storage site being developed to the west of the industrial estate which would have backed right up to the boundary of Horsemere Green Lane.
Residents in Apple Tree Walk and Wooldridge Walk voiced strong opposition to the scheme, which was recently rejected by planning officers at Arun.
Although relieved this battle had been won, Mr Miranda was concerned about future developments in the area coming to the fore.
He added he was still worried about potential plans to develop agricultural land south of Horsemere Green Lane into a housing estate.
This, combined with the potential of about 1,500 homes being developed in Ford, was still a great concern.
Mr Miranda said: “Our fear is that it is the beginnings of an urban sprawl that, In conjunction with the substantial development of the Ford site, would see Climping as we know it being absorbed and ceasing to exist.”
Speaking of the Ford plan, he added: “You’re putting a new heart into an old body and that’s a big risk.”
He said the development on the airfield was a ‘natural site’ for such a plan.
But stressed the existing infrastructure “would be under extreme duress” if it was not addressed either ahead of or concurrently with the mixed development on the ford site which is being proposed.
He felt it would damage the area’s character.
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