Could Worthing’s housing issues place further pressure on Arun district?

Residents outside the Arun District Council offices ahead of the meeting which saw the local plan adopted SUS-180719-094319001
Residents outside the Arun District Council offices ahead of the meeting which saw the local plan adopted SUS-180719-094319001

The Arun district could face increased housebuilding pressure if neighbouring Worthing is allowed to fall significantly short on its new homes target, council officials have warned.

Arun District Council fears Worthing Borough Council’s vision to deliver nearly 9,000 fewer homes than the Government believes are required to meet demand up until 2033 could place increased pressure on its communities.

Arun has objected to Worthing’s new draft local plan, suggesting a range of steps to explore boosting future housing supply.

Despite extensive work to identify housing sites, a severe shortage of space means Worthing Borough Council is not proposing to meet its full government-assessed building target.

A report to Arun councillors stated Worthing ‘only’ had space for around 4,182 homes over the plan period – 8,600 short of the Government’s figure.

Arun – planning to meet its own target in full – is hoping to see an average of 1,000 properties a year built up until 2032.

‘Setting minimum densities’, including ‘scope for high-rise flatted development where appropriate’ were among the suggested improvements put forward by Arun officers in a report considering the council’s response to a consultation on Worthing’s plan.

A Worthing Borough Council spokesman declined to be drawn into commenting specifically on Arun’s suggestions.

They said: “We welcome all comments on our local plan which aims to deliver economic growth, build much-needed new houses but also protect our green spaces bearing in mind we have very little space for expansion.

“We will of course consider any concerns that have been raised during the public consultation exercise and seek to address these prior to formal submission of our plan to Government in 2019.”

A consultation on the draft Worthing Local Plan closed on December 12.

Among the areas the council deems unsuitable for housing is the Goring to Ferring gap.

Part of the gap lies within Arun district border, with the remainder on Worthing land. Both councils have indicated a desire to protect the green space.