PRESERVING the unique character and charm of Rustington is what is at stake as the village readies itself to vote on its future.
In less than two weeks, residents will be taking to the polls to take the final decision on Rustington’s neighbourhood plan as part of its referendum.
The plan will give people greater powers to determine how the area will develop over the next 15 years.
And although it is not as controversial as other plans from neighbouring communities battling the tide of rising housing developments, Rustington’s is important in protecting the community’s future image and maintaining its cultural character.
The referendum asks voters whether they want Arun District Council to use the neighbourhood plan to help them when deciding planning applications in the area covered within it.
The Rustington Community Partnership has been working on the document, alongside the village’s parish council, and hopes residents will come out in support of it.
Rustington parish councillor Peter Warren is one of those who has been helping to draw up the plan.
“There’s nothing in it like Littlehampton has got with regards to massive housing or anything like that so there’s nothing extremely ‘exciting’ from the residents of Rustington’s point of view,” he said. “However, we’re trying to maintain and protect the character of the village, rather than suffering from mass modern developments which aren’t in keeping with it.”
Rustington only has a modest amount of housing earmarked for construction during the 15-year duration of the plan – a total of just 30 new homes.
Other areas the plan will cover will be the protection of Rustington’s remaining green spaces, as well as ensuring the seafront is not further developed.
It will also seek to continue the free parking in the village’s centre, maintaining the high street and the floral beauty of Rustington.
On Monday, thousands of fliers will be delivered to all the village’s residents, informing them about the plan and special drop-in sessions to learn more about the entire process and the referendum.
A public exhibition will be held at the old Specsavers shop, in The Street, on January 23-24 and January 26-27, from 10am until 4pm.
The referendum is taking place on January 28.