Home > Main blog > Mid-Sussex Local Plan fails to meet Duty to Co-operate

Mid-Sussex Local Plan fails to meet Duty to Co-operate


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The new NPPF requires a duty to co-operate, stating; “It is important for councils and other public bodies to work together across administrative boundaries to plan for the housing, transport and infrastructure that local people need.

A number of plans are not even getting to inquiry due to housing numbers not being objectively assessed against the evidence and the duty to cooperate with other Local Authorities.

It was announced on Wednesday that Mid-Sussex has not met the duty to co-operate see – http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/media/ID-16DTCOConclusion.pdf  and this was before the plan formally got to inquiry and before a full discussion on whether their housing numbers are correct.

Why is this relevant to Arun?

Does anyone remember Arun District Council’s press release of 2nd September 2011?

Chichester City Council’s planning and conservation committee (Bognor Observer, September 1st 2011) suggested talks with Arun District Council to consider the possibility of a new settlement (possibly at Ford Airfield) to serve the housing needs of both districts. On 2nd September 2011 the council issued the following press release in response:

Resolve your own housing issues, Arun Cabinet Member tells Chichester 

Suggestions that land at Ford could be used to create a new town to ease housing pressures in Chichester have been categorically dismissed today by Arun’s Cabinet Member for Planning.

Councillor Ricky Bower has ruled out the possibility of the area near Arundel being used for development so Chichester can meet its housing targets.

His comments follow local media reports that a suggested recommendation was made by Chichester City Council’s Planning and Conservation Committee urging the Chichester District Council to work with Arun to create a brand new town of affordable and eco friendly homes

Councillor Bower today dismissed the suggestion, saying: “These comments by the City Council are unhelpful. 

“We understand that this debate was part of a wider consultation by the District Council on their core strategy. I am dismayed that the City Council would promote such ideas with no approach beforehand to the District Council.” 

“We have significant issues around housing pressures ourselves and are committed to delivering more affordable homes through our Housing Strategy Raise the Roof. 

“Chichester’s housing problems will remain solely with Chichester to resolve within its boundaries. 

“I assure residents with absolute certainty Ford is not on the cards for development…… “  

By dismissing Chichester City Council’s suggestion to co-operate so quickly, Arun District Council, once again, demonstrated an inability for open-minded consideration of planning proposals…. and that they are at odds with the objectives of the NPPF.

At the same time the SHMA makes it clear that Arun is seen as capable of assisting neighbouring councils with their housing provision.

By expressing a preference for greenfield development at Angmering, Barnham/Eastergate/Westergate and Westbank the Local Plan Sub Committee has left the largest brownfield site in West Sussex, Ford Airfield, available for additional housing.

Will neighbouring councils and the Planning Inspectorate see Arun as capable of assisting neighbouring councils with their housing provision as long as it retains an undeveloped disused airfield?

Some might consider the council’s approach to Ford Airfield and the Duty to Co-operate as leaving the gates of Arun wide open to a second strategic development area!

If Councillor Bower and his political disciples continue to play with fire we might all get burnt!

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  1. December 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Yes for sure and any that can’t see this must be stupid

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