MP calls on councillors to reject 'garden city' plans
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has called on councillors to reject "excessive" housing numbers and ‘garden city' developments after the latest Arun District Local Plan retained the controversial proposals.
The new version of the Local Plan, published last week, will be discussed in the Local Plan Sub-Committee on Thursday (16 May) and then at a special meeting of the full Council on Wednesday 29 May.
The Plan continues to set a higher housing target, with minimum provision for 580 homes a year, and still proposes to meet this through strategic housing allocations "on Garden City" principles of "at least" 490 - 600 houses in Angmering and 2,000 in Barnham/Eastergate. This is on top of the parish allocations.
Mr Herbert has repeatedly urged Arun District Council to set a more realistic housing number in its plan, taking into account the pressure on local infrastructure and the need to preserve the rural character of villages in the area.
He has also expressed concern that neighbourhood planning in the villages is being undermined by far-fetched ‘garden city' proposals.
The MP met with Parish Council leaders of Barnham, Walberton, Aldingbourne and Eastergate on Saturday (11 May) to discuss these issues.
Nick Herbert said: "After all the outcry about the higher target proposed in the draft plan and the ‘Garden City' proposals, I am dismayed to see that these remain in the new version. Indeed, 580 houses a year would be a higher number than in the South East Plan which has been scrapped.
"Arun needs a plan, and local people understand the need for new housing, but this must be at sustainable levels. I hope that the Local Plan Sub-Committee will modify these damaging proposals this week, or that the full Council will do so later this month."
1. Links to the plan and agendas for the meetings can be found at http://www.arun.gov.uk/main.cfm?TYPE=LOCALDEVELOPMENTFR