Home > Brownfield or greenfield? > Are we ready for the next phase of the debate?

Are we ready for the next phase of the debate?

The population in Arun is now 149,500, an increase of 8,500 (6%) since 2001. It is projected to increase by a further 35,500 (24%) by 2033. There are currently 22,620 children under the age of 16 who will all require a home and a job quite soon. In May 2012, there were 5,188 households on the housing waiting list. Of these 1,855 were in the priority categories.

Against this background Chichester District Council said in its submission to Arun’s recent draft Local Plan consultation that the Coastal West Sussex Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update 2012 (SHMA), which is about to be published, concludes that meeting Arun District’s development needs would require provision of 600-750 homes per year based on demographic projections.

The South East Plan recommended a rate of 565 houses p.a. for Arun District.

Both of these housing figures are based on a robust and credible evidence base. (Local Conservatives do not like the “top down” nature of the SE Plan but they can’t deny the robust evidence base that underpinned it).

By contrast, there appears to be little or no evidence to support the council’s 400 houses p.a. “preference” – it seems to be little more than the personal whims of local councillors.

Arun’s preferred target of 400 dwellings per year falls well short of meeting the district’s housing needs. It was always unrealistic and was designed to divert attention from the real debate.

Once the SHMA figures are published the nature of the debate will change.

The need for the housing (and jobs) is evident – the question is should they be built on greenfield land at Angmering, Aldingbourne, Eastergate and Barnham or on brownfield land at Ford Airfield?

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