Arun District Update September 2019

26th September 2019

Council election results, climate change, planning applications, affordable housing seminar and a call for volunteers…

Council Elections

There was a significant and much applauded change in the make-up of the Arun District Council in May, when the Electorate decided that it was time for a change and what a change. A Council that had been dominated by one party for many, many years was drastically altered by almost fifty percent of councillors being elected from several other parties and independents.

The whole outlook and make-up of the Cabinet and Committee Members has been refreshed and the Local Plan is being questioned in relation to the excessive numbers of housing which has been imposed by Government. The majority of new Councillors have pledged to try to minimise the development of housing on valuable farmlands, habitats and to look at the all too real dangers when adequate infrastructure is not provided and to question statements on sustainability and economic growth.

Climate Change Motion

At the time of writing, a motion has been put before all Councillors at a Full Arun District Council meeting and accepted relating to climate change and the implications for large scale development on the coastal plain. The motion asks that ‘The Council calls on the Government to introduce a moratorium on large scale development in the Arun District whilst climate change and its potential impact on coastal plain development is properly assessed at governmental level’and ‘The Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the appropriate Government Minister to notify him/her of this motion and to request a meeting with the Minster in order to discuss it’. We feel this is a positive start but to be effective councils need to combine to oppose large scale development in coasta districts.

Planning Applications

There have been some very significant and controversial planning applications granted, which will destroy swathes of the valuable farmland in the District, in Pagham, Angmering, Yapton to name a few, with even more coming in the immediate future.

The blow would be softened if people were able to see some advantages in the shape of proper ‘affordable and social housing’, to accommodate the people who work in jobs that do not realise high wages and are, therefore, excluded from having a proper home.

Affordable Housing Seminar

To highlight the lack of the right type of homes for the less advantaged of our society, the Arun Group will be hosting a Seminar to raise awareness of those who are able to influence the outcomes of development through their elected positions. We need new homes suitable and affordable for local people – young people, families struggling on low incomes and older residents wanting to downsize and live close to amenities and services.

The Seminar will be held on Saturday, 9th November in Barnham Community Hall. As members you will receive an invitation to this event.

Can you spare an hour or two a week?

We are finding it very difficult to keep up with the volume of planning applications being submitted in Arun. If there is a member with planning experience who could spare an hour or two a week to monitor the planning section on Arun’s website, and potentially submit comments, your help would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please email: Arun@cpresussex.org.uk.

Michael Warden
CPRE Sussex Arun District Group

Image © Herry Lawford