Proposed industrial estate expansion angers residents

A proposal to expand the Rudford Industrial Estate has angered residents
A proposal to expand the Rudford Industrial Estate has angered residents

VILLAGERS in Climping are in uproar over controversial plans to expand an industrial estate – a scheme which they say would ‘obliterate’ the area’s character.

Sabil Ltd is proposing to develop vacant land to the west of the Rudford Industrial Estate on Ford Airfield.

The scheme would see a 2,063sqm ‘general open storage area’ being constructed, the boundaries of which would press right up to Horsemere Green Lane.

The announcement has prompted widespread concern from villagers living at the eastern and western edge of the plan, in Apple Tree Walk and Wooldridge Walk.

Scores of residents have already lodged their opposition with Arun District Council. The scheme is also being fought against by members of Climping Parish Council and community organisation Clymping Field Protection Group.

Sylvana Cotterill, 64, has lived in Apple Tree Walk for almost 15 years.

She said: “I’m absolutely furious with the plans. The industrial estate is noisy enough at the best of times.

“Now we’re going to have it right on our doorstep, closer than it has ever been before. I didn’t move here to live on an industrial estate.”

Members of Climping Parish Council discussed the plans at its latest meeting, with councillors united in their opposition.

They claimed there was a lack of clarity on issues such as the type of items to be stored, the operating hours and the amount of extra traffic which could be generated.

A key objection was that the boundary of the site would come right up to Horsemere Green Lane, wiping out a primary ‘buffer’ between the industrial estate and residential properties.

Councillors also voiced their concern over the lack of clarity with the proposed working hours on the site, as well as the potential harm to natural wildlife living in the area.

Parish council vice-chairman James Baird, said: “I think people see this area as an important buffer between residential and commercial activity and it should not be developed.

“I note that the economic officer has posted supportive comments based upon anecdotal evidence of demand; I think this officer should provide factual demand evidence and not anecdotal.”

In a planning document, developer Sabil Ltd said that access would be achieved through the industrial estate’s existing entrance.

The application document also said more ‘buffering planting’ would be provided to the western and northern boundary.

However, it added that no further buffering was necessary in the southern boundary, by Horsemere Green Lane which already provides ‘a significant visual buffer through existing vegetation’.

David Miranda, co-chairman the Clymping Field Protection Group, said the site has been a frequent cause of noise pollution and the existing planting would do nothing to mitigate any sound impact.

He added that the Rudford revelation came hot on the heels of a plan by the Mulgrave Estate to build 140 new homes on agricultural land to the south of Horsemere Green Lane and he had not met one person in favour of the proposal.

Villagers have since informed Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb about their concerns.

Others wishing to comment on the plans can do so by visiting www.arun.gov.uk/weekly-lists and searching reference number ‘F/16/15/PL’

Comments must be submitted before November 5. The scheme will then be debated by Arun’s development and control committee at a later date.

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