Campaigners petition MP to back them in housing battle

No Ya-town campaigners have written to MP Nick Gibb asking him to back them in their fight against hundreds of new homes in their village
No Ya-town campaigners have written to MP Nick Gibb asking him to back them in their fight against hundreds of new homes in their village

Residents have called on their MP to represent them in fighting hundreds of new homes in their village.

More than 350 people have signed a petition to Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb, arguing villagers’ wishes were being ‘completely ignored’ as the district as a whole faces huge housing pressures.

The petition has been lodged by No Yap-town, a long-running community group.

One of its members, Yapton resident Helen Chown, said: “There are a number of concerned people in Yapton and that is growing and growing as more is happening.

“We are a very strong group of people who are very worried. They can see things changing very rapidly.”

Among the latest major planning applications to be approved was for up to 100 homes on land south of Ford Lane, allowed on appeal earlier this month. But more are on the horizon, including land at Bilsham Road being earmarked for up to 250 homes and as many as 300 properties east of Drove Lane.

Petition numbers, swelling largely in response to the latest applications, grew to the hundreds in a matter of days.

Mrs Chown said: “He has been very strong with development issues in the past. What seems to be happening now is when we have raised concerns about the current state of play is that it’s being referred on to Arun and we would like him to work with us and being more proactive in representing us as constituents.”

Mr Gibb said he understood residents’ concerns.

He said: “‘I understand the frustrations of local residents with the Local Plan process. I have held meetings with Government Housing Ministers and Arun District Council to represent these views. Having been in contact with [parish councillor] Vicky Newman last week, I am looking to arrange a meeting with Yapton Parish Council as soon as possible to discuss residents’ concerns further.’