Arun’s Lib Dem leader criticises park authority over Arundel A27 bypass vote

Highways England chose Option 5A (Binsted route) as its preferred A27 option for Arundel. Picture: Derek Martin
Highways England chose Option 5A (Binsted route) as its preferred A27 option for Arundel. Picture: Derek Martin

The South Downs National Park Authority’s plans to seek a judicial review of the Arundel A27 decision has been criticised by the leader of the Lib Dems on Arun District Council.

Dr James Walsh, who also sits on Littlehampton Town Council, said the authority was ‘misusing taxpayers’ cash’.

There have also been protests against the preferred bypass route

There have also been protests against the preferred bypass route

Click here to read more about the park authority’s decision.

Dr Walsh said: “The South Downs National Park Authority is misusing taxpayers’ cash to act like an environmental pressure group rather than a statutory public body and planning authority.

“Their decision to debate their reaction to the highways agency Arundel bypass preferred route behind closed doors flies in the face of public accountability, openness and transparency.

“They are completely missing the point that most of the existing A27 west of Arundel already runs through the National Park, polluting it and all the settlements to the north, such as Storrington because of the lengthy traffic queues and rat-running through the South Downs.

“Option 5A has overwhelming public support, as well as that of West Sussex County Council, Arun District Council, Arundel Town Council, Littlehampton Town Council, and most parish councils with the exception of Walberton and Lyminster.

“It is time the SDNPA quango woke up to its wider responsibility, starting acting professionally, withdraws its application for a taxpayer-funded judicial review, and puts the needs and health of residents in Storrington, Amberley, Arundel and Crossbush, and the economy of the South Coast above its blinkered and short-sighted decision.”

The resolution to push for a judicial review of Highways England’s process in choosing Option 5A as the preferred route for Arundel has been met with heavy criticism.

Paul Dendle, district councillor for Arundel and Walberton, went as far as to call for the park authority to be abolished.