Angmering next for 'Garden City' development
Following last week's revelation that Arun District Council is proposing a 'Garden City'-style development of 2,000 houses between Eastergate, Westergate and Barnham, it now seems they have their sights set on Angmering, too.
A draft "Angmering Visioning Brief" proposes "at least" 490 new homes in Angmering, located East of Roundstone Lane. The proposed site includes the land currently used by Worthing Rugby Club.
The Brief, developed in partnership with URS, a London-based consultancy, and key landowners, claims that the principles which underpinned the creation of Garden Cities and Suburbs in the last century "are relevant to the creation of new communities in Arun today".
The document states: "The draft Local Plan for Arun considers Angmering to be a sustainable place for additional housing and employment growth in the plan period (up to 2028) as a result of recent improvements to the A280, proposed dualling of the A259 and the possibility of securing additional primary school places in the village.
"To this end, Policy SP8 in the draft Local Plan identifies Angmering as a broad location for growth with the potential to accommodate approximately 490 new homes alongside associated open space, social and community infrastructure requirements."
However, Arun's Local Plan has not yet been published and is expected later in the year. The draft Plan was strongly criticised by local communities after it proposed a higher housing target of 565 houses a year in the District over 15 years, amounting to nearly 8,500 homes. This would require an increase in the housing allocation in Angmering to nearly 500 houses.
The higher housing number in the District was originally required by the South East Plan. However, last month the Government confirmed that the Regional Plan is being scrapped.
Arun District Council had earlier indicated a preferred target of 400 units a year for the district over the next 16 years, meaning that the additional housing in Angmering would not be required.
Nick Herbert commented: "This plan to turn Angmering into a 'garden city' is totally inappropriate and just encourages speculative developers. It undermines Angmering's own Neighbourhood Plan, which is close to being finalised with local input and knowledge, and which will ultimately be approved by the whole village.
"Arun District Council should not be using public money to promote grandiose schemes ahead of publication of its final Plan. Angmering has already received a huge amount of development in recent years. The South East Plan is being scrapped, so Arun should be able to set a more sustainable housing target. It's neither necessary nor desirable to turn West Sussex villages into new towns, garden cities or a suburban sprawl."
Andy Cooper, Chairman of Rustington Parish Council and the Conservative Candidate for the Angmering By-Election to be held on Thursday 18 April, said:
"Over-development in Angmering is a big issue for local residents, me included. The village has already had a huge amount of new development, and while limited additional housing may be possible, this should be determined by local residents through our own Neighbourhood Plan.
"Local people are concerned that the infrastructure is inadequate to cope at the moment, let alone with a lot more housing. Angmering should remain a village, not be turned by stealth into a new town."
Notes for Editors
1. Arun District Council's draft "Angmering Visioning Brief" can be viewed here.
2. The Government's news release announcing the abolition of the South East Plan can be found here.
3. Nick Herbert MP's submission to Arun District Council on their Draft Local Plan can be viewed here.