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Update on the Arun Local Plan 2017

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 12:22

CPRE Sussex attended and spoke at the Examination in Public (EiP) of the new Arun Local Plan in September 2017. We expressed concerns about the lack of consultation, the level of housing proposed and the impact this would have on the local environment and the lack of a coherent strategy for ensuring that infrastructure is put in place at the right time to accommodate this development.

We employed a barrister, Robin Green, to represent us at the hearings in September and make this argument. In Mr Green’s view, the most significant problem with the plan is the housing trajectory which sets out the rate at which the council expects development to take place.

As you can see from the graph, in 2019/20 and 2020/21 the Council is expecting over 1,700 homes to be completed. We made the argument at the hearings that the market cannot accommodate this level of growth and that housebuilders will slow their build-out rates to ensure that they receive the maximum amount of profit. The problem is that if this happens the council will lose its 5-year housing land supply and once again the Local Plan will be weakened, threatening all the Neighbourhood Plans and opening the District up once again to speculative development. In short, the plan will fail. The other problem is whether the necessary infrastructure in relation to flood mitigation, transport infrastructure and waste water treatment is scheduled to accommodate this growth.
We found the hearings very problematic, with a large amount of information often appearing on the day of the hearings and leading to adjournments. For example, the Council produced a Statement of Common Ground with Southern Water in relation to Waste Water Treatment mid-way through the hearings which surprised even the site promoters.  It is very hard to see how the plan can be modified to make it sound. We await the Inspector’s report now.
If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of representation at the Arun Plan you can do so online by visiting this page or by sending a cheque to ‘CPRE Sussex’ at the usual address:
CPRE Sussex, Brownings Farm, Blackboys, Uckfield, E. Sussex, TN22 5HG

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