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Conservative candidates are not planning to protect our greenfields against development – just “over-development”

April 20, 2015 3 comments

The Conservative candidates have now started to circulate their election address in Barnham ward.

They say that one of their priorities for Barnham ward is to defend our greenfields from over-development”.

Note those words very, very carefully!

I am sure they have been very carefully chosen!

Notice how the Conservative candidates are not planning to protect our greenfields against development – just over-development.

 

Representation from Tony Dixon to all Arun councillors

April 17, 2015 1 comment

Here is the representation from Tony Dixon to all Arun councillors

“Dear members

You are being asked to make the most far reaching decision you will ever be called upon to make in your time as District Councillors – a decision that will have a major impact on the economic and environmental wellbeing of future generations.

Should you support the officers’ “vision” for the district? Or, as members, do you feel there is a better way forward for our district?

Please consider the following points:

Access to/from the A27

Any development at Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate (which will be necessary to fund the road) is instantly flawed because of the additional traffic that will be caused by the development itself. A development of 2,000 plus houses located between Bognor Regis and the A27 could bring up to 3,000 extra vehicles onto the A29 (based on 1.5 cars per household). These extra vehicles will be located slap-bang between Bognor Regis and the A27.

How will the residents of 2,000 new houses join the new road ? … more roundabouts perhaps?

Is the replacement of one level crossing and a mini roundabout with up to 6 new roundabouts, and around 3,000 extra cars feeding in to them, an improvement on the current situation?

This will almost certainly make access to/from Bognor Regis worse and act as a disincentive to potential employers!

Has the council provided you with any evidence to show that the proposed new road will be an improvement on the current situation? Where’s the modelling?

Has the council considered the possibility of a third and additional route to/from the A27 for Bognor Regis, linking the A259 at Comet Corner to the A27, bridging the railway line at Ford, and connecting Bognor Regis to the SRN in the east (A24 and A23 – both of which are dual carriageway)? This would spread existing and new traffic over three routes rather than the current two. It would also combine with the A27 and A259 to form a “ring road” around the Five Villages.

Have your officers even considered linking Bognor Regis to the SRN in the east?

Duty to co operate

What happens if the Inspector at the EiP increases the housing number? Would it be better to identify a location that can accommodate future growth?

By excluding the largest brownfield site in West Sussex from the Local Plan, will this make it more or less likely that Arun is required to make provision for additional housing on behalf of Worthing and others?

Brownfield land

One of the 12 core planning principles of the new NPPF is that planning should “encourage the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value;

Paragraph 13.1.14 of the draft Local Plan states:  The development of land that has not previously been developed (greenfield) should only be considered where brownfield land cannot be developed.”

By prioritising greenfield development ahead of brownfield development could that jeopardise the Local Plan?

Cabinet and Officers will argue that only the runway counts as brownfield. The old PPG3 definition used to include the curtilage. (Presumably the curtilage was included to avoid runway shaped developments!!). Within the curtilage of the airfield there are 268 acres of brownfield land (making it the largest available brownfield site in West Sussex). I’m not sure if the new rules would include land up to the curtilage or not?

Developer contribution for an Arundel Bypass

The NPPF makes it clear that local planning authorities should take account of the need for strategic infrastructure including nationally significant infrastructure within their areas.

The then Transport Minister Philip Hammond brought our local infrastructure deficit into sharp focus when he advised a delegation from Sussex in 2011 that, although there was no funding available for an Arundel Bypass, if it was possible to get developer contributions the government would be more willing to look at doing something.

Can your officers demonstrate to you that they have properly explored the possibility of a developer contribution towards an A27 Arundel Bypass?

(By contrast, in order to make progress in these difficult times Chichester and WSCC are putting up £20 million towards improvements to the A27 to be funded through a combination of developer contributions and provident loans).

The A27 Arundel Bypass Wider Economic Impact Study by Parsons Brinkerhoff in March 2013 said:

“Based on the extensive Business Survey undertaken in the area and initial analysis, the preliminary results indicated the following:

An additional £493m would be added to total West Sussex GVA of £15.257bn;

Employment Impact: an additional annualised total of 12,600 jobs would be added throughout the seven districts in West Sussex;

Personal Income Tax Receipts: across all seven districts, an annualised total of £82m would accrue to Government in the form of personal income tax receipts from new employment;

Reductions in Jobseekers’ Allowance: across all seven districts, Government would gain approximately £38m from reductions in Jobseekers’ Allowance payments;

Increase in Disposable Income: the increases in employment will support additional disposable income being spent in the county. The preliminary estimate of this is £108m throughout all seven districts;

Attracting investment: the existence of the Arundel Bypass will remove the current bottleneck on the A27 and will significantly improve the ‘attractiveness’ of the corridor in terms of attracting investment and inducing land development (through distribution centres and business parks etc);”

Infrastructure

The main objective with village extensions (albeit in this case dressed up as a new settlement!) is to utilise and therefore increase pressure on existing infrastructure like health facilities, schools, roads, sewage etc.

Genuine new settlements, on the other hand, provide their own infrastructure – placing much less burden on existing infrastructure, effectively spreading the pressure.

For instance, the existing sewage network across the district already struggles to cope. A new settlement at Ford would utilise the adjacent sewage works, placing no additional pressure on the existing network.

A new settlement on Flood Zone 1 land at Ford would reduce the risk of flooding in areas like Felpham and Middleton (which are downstream from the council’s proposed strategic allocation at Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate) – with easy drainage to the River Arun.

Members should demand that any strategic locations identified in the Local Plan MUST

  • Be on flood zone 1 land
  • Have no urban areas downstream
  • Provide easy drainage to the sea
  • Not utilise the already overburdened rifes for drainage
  • Not, in any way, add to, or make worse, any existing flood risks/problems

The Local Plan is unlikely to resolve the existing flooding issues but we can try to make sure it does not add to the risks/problems.

A single new settlement can offer infrastructure contributions on a far greater scale than a number of smaller developments peppered across the district.

Employment

Arun’s main industries are traditionally horticulture/agriculture, tourism and retail. In essence Arun is a low-paid and largely seasonal economy compared with other parts of West Sussex.  Our problem is not unemployment – it is low pay.

To drive average wage levels up Arun will need to focus on creating better paid employment outside the tourism, retail and horticultural/agricultural sectors.

The lower the average wage the greater the need for affordable housing is likely to be. Arun has a deficit of affordable housing.

Low wage levels create an unacceptably high level of outbound commuting. Currently around 37 per cent of the working population leave the district each day to work creating substantial road congestion, particularly at peak times.

The Living Wage is a voluntary rate of pay designed to enable workers to afford a basic but acceptable standard of living.  The rate is currently £8.55 an hour in London and £7.45 outside – compared to the national minimum wage which stands at £6.31. New research for KPMG shows that Arun District has the highest number of people earning a salary below the living wage in the south east.

Over 34% of the 31,000 jobs in Arun pay less than the living wage, which means that Arun has the lowest living wages in the entire south east. By contrast, nationally 21% of jobs pay below the living wage. The south east average is 18%.

According to Nomis the average gross weekly wage for those working in Arun in 2010 was £399 – the lowest of the seven councils in West Sussex. This compares to a West Sussex average of £479 (20 per cent higher) and a South East average of £523 (31 per cent higher). The national average is £500 (25 per cent higher).

Arun ranks 63rd out of 67 local authorities in South East England when it comes to the ratio of jobs to population aged 16-64. (Jobs Density).

The 2003 Local Plan has failed to attract employment interest for the Oldlands Farm site. In spite of this, the council remains committed to planning its employment provision in this area.

Proposals for Airfield Park (or is it now Enterprise@BognorRegis) seem fanciful and the council does not appear to have a strategy to attract employers to Airfield Park.

Most of Airfield Park is in Flood Zone 3 (land most at risk from flooding). What businessman in his right mind will locate his business in Flood Zone 3?

In a choice between Tangmere and Airfield Park employers will choose the one that is nearest to the A27. A local company Respironics (now owned by Philips) moved from Bersted to Tangmere to be closer to the A27. The council appears to have learned no lessons from this. Any business park needs to be close to the A27 to succeed.

One of your cabinet members is promoting a horticultural hub – yet at the same time existing viable horticultural employment sites at Angmering (80 jobs?), North Littlehampton (200 jobs?) and Eastergate (100 jobs?) are to be closed so that the sites can be used for housing? That’s minus 380 jobs before we even start creating more low paid horticultural jobs!

There are many pressures on members now. There is a risk that the council is in such difficulty that it has reached a stage where anything will do – as long as it’s quick! There is a genuine risk that you will now be pressured into a bad decision.

For those of you who are open-minded enough to have read this far – thank you.

Good luck with a very difficult decision – I hope that you will make the only sound decision available to you and reconsider Ford Airfield!”

 

 

Ford Enterprise Hub (FEH) response to the Arun Local Plan 2011-2031 Publication Version consultation

December 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Here is the Ford Enterprise Hub (FEH) representation to the Arun Local Plan 2011-2031 publication version, policies maps and sustainability appraisal consultation.

FEH representation Arun Local Plan 2011-2031 Publication Version Representation Form – part A

FEH representation 1 _Purpose of FEH representations_

FEH representation 2 _employment – Flood Zone 3_

FEH representation 3 _employment – wage levels_

FEH representation 4 _employment – connecting Bognor Regis to the SRN_

FEH representation 5 _relating to soundness_

FEH representation 6 _breach of natural justice_

FEH representation 7 _Cabinet Member for Planning attacks community on TV_

FEH representation 8 _bias in the dissemination of information_

FEH representation 9 _flawed public consultations_

FEH representation 10 _Eco Town Select Committee membership_

FEH representation 11 _duty to cooperate_

FEH representation 12 _brownfield land_

FEH representation 13 _sewerage and energy from waste_

FEH representation 14 _the Arundel setting_

FEH representation 15 _transport hub_

FEH representation 16 _housing delivery and strategic locations_

FEH representation 17 _access to from the A27_

FEH representation 18 _Cabinet manipulation of Local Plan sub committee_

FEH representation 19 _evidence withheld from Local Plan Sub Committee_

FEH representation 20 _delays to LDF and Local Plan_

FEH representation 21 _announcement of government funding for an Arundel Bypass_

Appendix 1 – Arun press release – Dismay at Eco Town announcement

Appendix 2 – Transcript of BBC Inside Out programme 24.09.08

Appendix 3 – Cabinet Member for Planning statement to Aldingbourne Parish Council 16.11.08

Appendix 4 -Cabinet Member for Planning apology to Cllr Mrs Briggs 16.11.08

Appendix 5 – Cabinet Member for Planning resigns – Bognor Observer 18.12.08

Appendix 6 – Derek Waller reference to blind copies

Appendix 7 – ICO warns Arun re future conduct

Appendix 8 – CAFE meetings schedule at Arun

Appendix 9 – VAG web site home page

Appendix 10 – Cllr Dr Walsh – Bognor Observer 24.04.08

Appendix 11 – Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government letter – August 2009

Appendix 12 – Resolve your own housing issues, Arun Cabinet Member tells Chichester

Appendix 13 – Notorious crossing will be replaced, vows chief

Representation from Tony Dixon to all Arun councillors

April 26, 2014 8 comments

Here is the representation from Tony Dixon to all Arun councillors

“Dear members

You are being asked to make the most far reaching decision you will ever be called upon to make in your time as District Councillors – a decision that will have a major impact on the economic and environmental wellbeing of future generations.

Should you support the officers’ “vision” for the district? Or, as members, do you feel there is a better way forward for our district?

Please consider the following points:

Access to/from the A27

Any development at Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate (which will be necessary to fund the road) is instantly flawed because of the additional traffic that will be caused by the development itself. A development of 2,000 plus houses located between Bognor Regis and the A27 could bring up to 3,000 extra vehicles onto the A29 (based on 1.5 cars per household). These extra vehicles will be located slap-bang between Bognor Regis and the A27.

How will the residents of 2,000 new houses join the new road ? … more roundabouts perhaps?

Is the replacement of one level crossing and a mini roundabout with up to 6 new roundabouts, and around 3,000 extra cars feeding in to them, an improvement on the current situation?

This will almost certainly make access to/from Bognor Regis worse and act as a disincentive to potential employers!

Has the council provided you with any evidence to show that the proposed new road will be an improvement on the current situation? Where’s the modelling?

Has the council considered the possibility of a third and additional route to/from the A27 for Bognor Regis, linking the A259 at Comet Corner to the A27, bridging the railway line at Ford, and connecting Bognor Regis to the SRN in the east (A24 and A23 – both of which are dual carriageway)? This would spread existing and new traffic over three routes rather than the current two. It would also combine with the A27 and A259 to form a “ring road” around the Five Villages.

Have your officers even considered linking Bognor Regis to the SRN in the east?

Duty to co operate

What happens if the Inspector at the EiP increases the housing number? Would it be better to identify a location that can accommodate future growth?

By excluding the largest brownfield site in West Sussex from the Local Plan, will this make it more or less likely that Arun is required to make provision for additional housing on behalf of Worthing and others?

Brownfield land

One of the 12 core planning principles of the new NPPF is that planning should “encourage the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value;

Paragraph 13.1.14 of the draft Local Plan states:  The development of land that has not previously been developed (greenfield) should only be considered where brownfield land cannot be developed.”

By prioritising greenfield development ahead of brownfield development could that jeopardise the Local Plan?

Cabinet and Officers will argue that only the runway counts as brownfield. The old PPG3 definition used to include the curtilage. (Presumably the curtilage was included to avoid runway shaped developments!!). Within the curtilage of the airfield there are 268 acres of brownfield land (making it the largest available brownfield site in West Sussex). I’m not sure if the new rules would include land up to the curtilage or not?

Developer contribution for an Arundel Bypass

The NPPF makes it clear that local planning authorities should take account of the need for strategic infrastructure including nationally significant infrastructure within their areas.

The then Transport Minister Philip Hammond brought our local infrastructure deficit into sharp focus when he advised a delegation from Sussex in 2011 that, although there was no funding available for an Arundel Bypass, if it was possible to get developer contributions the government would be more willing to look at doing something.

Can your officers demonstrate to you that they have properly explored the possibility of a developer contribution towards an A27 Arundel Bypass?

(By contrast, in order to make progress in these difficult times Chichester and WSCC are putting up £20 million towards improvements to the A27 to be funded through a combination of developer contributions and provident loans).

The A27 Arundel Bypass Wider Economic Impact Study by Parsons Brinkerhoff in March 2013 said:

“Based on the extensive Business Survey undertaken in the area and initial analysis, the preliminary results indicated the following:

An additional £493m would be added to total West Sussex GVA of £15.257bn;

Employment Impact: an additional annualised total of 12,600 jobs would be added throughout the seven districts in West Sussex;

Personal Income Tax Receipts: across all seven districts, an annualised total of £82m would accrue to Government in the form of personal income tax receipts from new employment;

Reductions in Jobseekers’ Allowance: across all seven districts, Government would gain approximately £38m from reductions in Jobseekers’ Allowance payments;

Increase in Disposable Income: the increases in employment will support additional disposable income being spent in the county. The preliminary estimate of this is £108m throughout all seven districts;

Attracting investment: the existence of the Arundel Bypass will remove the current bottleneck on the A27 and will significantly improve the ‘attractiveness’ of the corridor in terms of attracting investment and inducing land development (through distribution centres and business parks etc);”

Infrastructure

The main objective with village extensions (albeit in this case dressed up as a new settlement!) is to utilise and therefore increase pressure on existing infrastructure like health facilities, schools, roads, sewage etc.

Genuine new settlements, on the other hand, provide their own infrastructure – placing much less burden on existing infrastructure, effectively spreading the pressure.

For instance, the existing sewage network across the district already struggles to cope. A new settlement at Ford would utilise the adjacent sewage works, placing no additional pressure on the existing network.

A new settlement on Flood Zone 1 land at Ford would reduce the risk of flooding in areas like Felpham and Middleton (which are downstream from the council’s proposed strategic allocation at Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate) – with easy drainage to the River Arun.

Members should demand that any strategic locations identified in the Local Plan MUST

  • Be on flood zone 1 land
  • Have no urban areas downstream
  • Provide easy drainage to the sea
  • Not utilise the already overburdened rifes for drainage
  • Not, in any way, add to, or make worse, any existing flood risks/problems

The Local Plan is unlikely to resolve the existing flooding issues but we can try to make sure it does not add to the risks/problems.

A single new settlement can offer infrastructure contributions on a far greater scale than a number of smaller developments peppered across the district.

Employment

Arun’s main industries are traditionally horticulture/agriculture, tourism and retail. In essence Arun is a low-paid and largely seasonal economy compared with other parts of West Sussex.  Our problem is not unemployment – it is low pay.

To drive average wage levels up Arun will need to focus on creating better paid employment outside the tourism, retail and horticultural/agricultural sectors.

The lower the average wage the greater the need for affordable housing is likely to be. Arun has a deficit of affordable housing.

Low wage levels create an unacceptably high level of outbound commuting. Currently around 37 per cent of the working population leave the district each day to work creating substantial road congestion, particularly at peak times.

The Living Wage is a voluntary rate of pay designed to enable workers to afford a basic but acceptable standard of living.  The rate is currently £8.55 an hour in London and £7.45 outside – compared to the national minimum wage which stands at £6.31. New research for KPMG shows that Arun District has the highest number of people earning a salary below the living wage in the south east.

Over 34% of the 31,000 jobs in Arun pay less than the living wage, which means that Arun has the lowest living wages in the entire south east. By contrast, nationally 21% of jobs pay below the living wage. The south east average is 18%.

According to Nomis the average gross weekly wage for those working in Arun in 2010 was £399 – the lowest of the seven councils in West Sussex. This compares to a West Sussex average of £479 (20 per cent higher) and a South East average of £523 (31 per cent higher). The national average is £500 (25 per cent higher).

Arun ranks 63rd out of 67 local authorities in South East England when it comes to the ratio of jobs to population aged 16-64. (Jobs Density).

The 2003 Local Plan has failed to attract employment interest for the Oldlands Farm site. In spite of this, the council remains committed to planning its employment provision in this area.

Proposals for Airfield Park (or is it now Enterprise@BognorRegis) seem fanciful and the council does not appear to have a strategy to attract employers to Airfield Park.

Most of Airfield Park is in Flood Zone 3 (land most at risk from flooding). What businessman in his right mind will locate his business in Flood Zone 3?

In a choice between Tangmere and Airfield Park employers will choose the one that is nearest to the A27. A local company Respironics (now owned by Philips) moved from Bersted to Tangmere to be closer to the A27. The council appears to have learned no lessons from this. Any business park needs to be close to the A27 to succeed.

One of your cabinet members is promoting a horticultural hub – yet at the same time existing viable horticultural employment sites at Angmering (80 jobs?), North Littlehampton (200 jobs?) and Eastergate (100 jobs?) are to be closed so that the sites can be used for housing? That’s minus 380 jobs before we even start creating more low paid horticultural jobs!

There are many pressures on members now. There is a risk that the council is in such difficulty that it has reached a stage where anything will do – as long as it’s quick! There is a genuine risk that you will now be pressured into a bad decision.

For those of you who are open-minded enough to have read this far – thank you.

Good luck with a very difficult decision – I hope that you will make the only sound decision available to you and reconsider Ford Airfield!”

 

 

Villages Action Group, AGM, and its relationship with Nick Herbert MP

November 3, 2013 3 comments

For those who are interested the Villages Action Group (VAG) AGM is being held at the Westergate School on November 22nd at 6.30 p.m.

On its web site VAG states “Mr Nick Herbert MP has kindly offered to attend and speak at the Public Session of our AGM”  and “Nick Herbert MP has been a very constant campaigner in support of our cause which is to prevent unsustainable housing development in rural areas.”

I am uncomfortable with VAG’s relationship with Mr Herbert and so I shall not attend. (in fact, I can’t even understand why VAG would want him there!)

Here are a few non-sycophantic thoughts instead:

When brownfield land at the disused Ford Airfield was under the spotlight for development (a new settlement as an alternative to village extensions) Mr Herbert probably did more than anyone in the Arun district to “steer” development away from Ford Airfield and instead towards the villages of Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate and Angmering.

Mr Herbert was fully aware that merging the three historic villages of Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate and a smaller development at Angmering were the most likely alternatives when he campaigned against a new settlement on brownfield land at Ford Airfield. VAG appears not to have noticed this.

I fail to understand why VAG see Mr Herbert as their ally?

Of course, Mr Herbert can always be relied upon to oppose housing whenever or wherever there is a development proposal. He will never say where housing should be located – instead he trots around his constituency saying, not here, not here, not here etc. Mr Herbert’s position is unrealistic, and that is now becoming increasingly apparent, but many will be taken in by it.

It’s quite obvious that the housing will have to go somewhere. In days gone by MPs generally acted in a more responsible manner than today’s career politicians. For instance, a more responsible MP might have recognised that the housing is actually inevitable and even desirable (the average age of a first time buyer is now 35, the average age to leave home is 27), and instead, led a grown up debate to consider the merits or otherwise of a new settlement versus village extensions. Mr Herbert has never shown much interest in that kind of open-minded debate.

The Arundel & South Downs Conservative Association (ASDCA) is distributing flyers in the Barnham, Eastergate & Westergate (BE&W) area calling for residents to join them in opposing unsustainable development. The leaflet is, of course, deliberately not site specific.

At the same time Conservative councillors (many of whom are sponsored by ASDCA) are promoting strategic development in the BE&W area. They obviously believe it’s sustainable or they wouldn’t be doing it!

I recently wrote to the Chairman of ASDCA to seek clarification on the meaning of their flyer, asking “does ASDCA believe that the proposed strategic allocation at Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate in Arun’s draft Local Plan is UNSUSTAINABLE or SUSTAINABLE?”  The Chairman has not responded. She appears unwilling to describe the BE&W strategic location as unsustainable! No surprise there then!

I can’t help thinking that this flyer is a deliberate ploy by local politicians to face two ways at the same time.  (by being non site specific they can always say that they meant all the other developments were unsustainable not that one!). Is VAG seeking clarification on ASDCA’s position?

It seems to me that, as a direct result of delays to the Local Plan, most communities across the district are now facing a tsunami of unwelcome planning applications. A swift decision to create a new settlement on brownfield land at Ford Airfield is now the only way to ease the mounting development pressure on all other communities across the district.

VAG has not shown much appetite for making the case for an alternative to village extensions. If VAG doesn’t do it no one else will do it for them!

VAG has lost the argument on housing numbers. The SE Plan, SHMA, SHMA “critical friend review” and now the SHMA validation can’t all be wrong. It was, in my opinion, always an unwinnable argument.

However, from Arun’s perspective it has probably been a welcome diversion from the thorny matter of strategic locations and the process by which they are being decided.

Arun will now move forward as quickly as possible with its Local Plan and strategic allocations at BE&W and Angmering because it is in danger of losing control of its planning and needs to reassert control. Anything will do now, as long as it’s quick!

VAG must, of course, make the case that development at BE&W is unsustainable (which it is!) but that argument alone may not be enough to win. The further the process goes the harder it will be to achieve change. The Planning Inspectorate is unlikely to be sympathetic to anything other than a truly compelling argument.

So, does VAG have a strategy to persuade councillors to change their minds before they agree the strategic allocations in early 2014?

Or will VAG accept what Arun are about to serve up and hope that the Planning Inspectorate will see sense further down the line? In the current climate that is pretty unlikely!

Are we ready for the next phase of the debate?

October 27, 2012 Leave a comment

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?

Can Cllr. Mrs Brown plant a lettuce here?


In response to a recent public question the leader of the council said that “she did not agree because, firstly, she disputed that Ford Airfield was considered to be a brownfield site as much of it had reverted back to agricultural use.”

If  Cllr. Mrs Brown can plant a lettuce here I’ll give £100 to a charity of her choice!