My Week 28/09/2016

This week I visited the site of a proposed development in Hassocks which does not form part of the village's draft neighbourhood plan. 

Once again, a developer is trying to build just before a neighbourhood plan is approved and contrary to the wishes of the local community, who have allocated other sites in the village for housing. 

Indeed, some developers are even trying to challenge neighbourhood plans in the courts after they've been voted through in a local referendum - as is happening in Henfield. 

While I can't interfere in a legal matter, I will raise these issues when I speak in a debate on the Neighbourhood Planning Bill when the Commons returns on Monday 10 October. 

In my surgeries in Henfield and Pulborough this week I tried to help constituents who had problems with disability benefits and pensions, I discussed rail disruption with a long suffering local commuter, and later I visited Pulborough station to try and help resolve a problem with an overgrown footpath. 

Back in Arundel I met with the Environment Agency to discuss the problem of a collapsed river wall which has caused damage to some residents' homes. 

I have been working closely with Arundel Town Council and we are doing our best to resolve a difficult situation on behalf of the residents where neither the insurers nor the public authorities believe they are responsible for the repairs

Later I joined a meeting to discuss the Arundel bypass, where we expect route options to be published in the Spring of next year for formal public consultation. 

I do not support the call by some, whose real agenda is to oppose the town's much needed bypass altogether, to include a so-called "purple route" in the consultation.

This would run "online" - that is through the town - and was rightly ruled out by Highways England at an earlier stage, not least because it would exacerbate severance between the two parts of Arundel. 

What's more, its proponents now admit that their proposal wouldn't even be dual carriageway, so there would still be hold-ups either side of Arundel.  This route is a non starter, a red - or should I say a purple - herring.

I've also spoken at a conference in the City of London this week on equality in the workplace, and I had an enjoyable visit to the new premises of the Hepworth Brewery, a local success story which has moved from Horsham to Brinsbury in my constituency. 

If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or e-mail me at

Nick Herbert