Littlehampton residents fight to save meadow from housing development

Littlehampton residents have urged the county council to protect precious green space in the heart of the town.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:55 pm

Land to the north of Littlehampton Academy has been earmarked for hundreds of homes, adjacent to an existing estate in Oakcroft Gardens, in the neighbourhood plan.

Sara Pidgeon, 49, lives in nearby Meadow Way and relies on the thriving social community in the meadow when she walks her dog.

“I walk my dog regularly there because it’s a nice, safe green space,” she said.

Littlehampton residents want to save a meadow west of Oakcroft Gardens from developers. Pic S Robards SR2106153 SUS-210615-170913001
Littlehampton residents want to save a meadow west of Oakcroft Gardens from developers. Pic S Robards SR2106153 SUS-210615-170913001

“Lots of people, especially during lockdown, would always be wandering around – it’s a big part of the local community.

“I feel desperately sad that another 200-300 houses could be going to go on that space and that’s something that we want to highlight.

“There comes a point where the community has to step up and say enough’s enough.”

Sara and other residents have set up Facebook groups, an action group and are putting together a community right to bid to buy the land themselves. More likely, it would at least delay the process to allow a proper defence to be created.

Bogor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb has supported the campaign and said it would be a ‘tragedy’ if the plot was developed.

The neighbourhood plan said the land, owned by West Sussex County Council, would deliver new homes by 2029.

A county council spokesman confirmed it was preparing to enter a long-term joint venture with housing company Lovell Partnerships and Oakcroft Meadow was one of the sites under consideration for development.

Any development would go through the usual consultation and planning process, the spokesman added.