It is with dismay that I read the sorry saga of the Arun Local Plan.
Residents have a reasonable expectation that such plans are contiguous so that we never end up in a position where such a document is not in place.
If this happens, then developers can apply to build where they like, which inevitably, results in disputes and planning appeals all of which have to be funded from the public purse.
Regrettably, we now find ourselves in a position with no approved Local Plan.
Whatever ‘spin’ Arun District Council wish to put on the present document, whether it be incomplete or not fit for purpose, the fact remains that the council has failed to meet the requirements and expectations of its residents.
The end result is that the draft plan is now ‘in limbo’ for an extended period.
There have been too many deliberations about the number of houses required, the folly of diverting the A29, the refusal to engage with other agencies in seeking a more efficient Woodgate crossing and so on – not to mention the dismissal of local opinion, which has resulted in the action the Planning Inspector has taken.
Some councillors are not slow in coming forward when they claim their ‘special responsibility allowance’, but with such responsibilities there are also accountabilities.
Those responsible for this shameless state of affairs should realise the blame lies firmly in their court.
They have lost the trust and respect of the residents and additionally, there is little confidence that if the same individuals continue in their present roles the situation will not be resolved.
The only honourable solution is for both the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure to resign from their present post and support their successors who have the unenviable task of trying to salvage some good from the sorry state of affairs we are left with.
Martin R Sutton
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