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The outcome of the local elections is now clear, but where does that leave the Arun Local Plan?


The outcome of the local elections is now clear, but where does that leave the Arun Local Plan?

When Arun’s councillors voted in April 2014 the majority of Conservative members did not support the Local Plan. Cllr Mrs. Brown and Cllr. Bower managed to get their Local Plan through only with the support of a handful of opposition councillors, some of whom are now gone.

Many of those councillors who supported the Local Plan did so, not because of its policies, but out of fear of planning by appeal if they did not. Yet, in spite of those fears, as we now know, the cabinet member for Planning has failed to maintain a 5 year Housing Land Supply, and the district is in any case wide open to predatory planning applications. The very thing that some councillors sought to avoid has happened anyway!

Since then there have been two major “game changers” which councillors have not yet had the opportunity to consider. Funding for an A27 Arundel Bypass has been announced and the council’s Enterprise Zone bid did not make the short list announced in the Chancellor’s recent budget statement.

Now we have a new administration at Arun. Of those councillors who were returned, only 18 out of 54 actually supported the Local Plan. That’s a rather poor 33.3%. The other 66.6% of councillors either opposed the Local Plan or have not yet had a say.

Only 15 of the current Conservatives supported the Local plan. Of those, 6 were cabinet members and 9 were back benchers!

The Examination in Public starts on 2nd June.

Will Councillor Mrs Brown seek the democratic approval of the new administration before the EiP takes the decision out of the councillor’s hands or will she deny the new councillors the opportunity to have their say?

Does Cllr. Mrs. Brown have the guts to call for an urgent vote of confidence in her Local Plan?

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UKIP’s call – a song dedicated to the nationalist parties


Following the success of my big number one hit “Who do you think you are kidding Mrs Brown” I seem to have got the bug for writing songs. Here’s one I’ve written called UKIP’s call which I would like to dedicate to the nationalist parties that took part in last night’s debate!

UKIP’s call 

Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer
Our Country’s call
From the four proud countries of the UK
 

UK, UK
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We’ll answer the UK’s call
 

From the mighty glens of Scotland
From the rugged hills of Wales
From the green fields of England
And Northern Ireland
From the four proud countries of the UK
 

UK, UK
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We’ll answer the UK’s call
 

Hearts of steel
And heads unbowing
Vowing never to be broken
We will fight, until
We can fight no more
From the four proud countries of the UK
 

UK, UK
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We’ll answer the UK’s call
 

(with apologies to Ireland for nicking their brilliant anthem!) 

Chuckle Brother stands for UKIP in Barnham ward

April 11, 2015 1 comment

For those of you who haven’t yet guessed I can now confirm that Chuckle Brother is Tony Dixon and that I am standing for UKIP in Barnham ward.

You can read my election address here: Tony Dixon – election address

I have had the honour of serving my community previously – as an Arun District councillor for Barnham Ward, from 2003 to 2007. I hope you will give me that honour again.

Please also see my web site for further information:

https://tonydixonukipcandidateforbarnhamward.wordpress.com/

 

Local plan progress ‘marginal’ claims report


Local plan progress over the last three years since the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published has been “marginal”, according to an assessment by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners.

The authors of the report stressed that “plans are not yet dealing effectively with ‘overspill’ issues, particularly from urban areas.

“This is the next major hurdle for plan-makers: even where the scale of unmet need is known (as with London and Birmingham), there is limited evidence of plans or inspectors answering vital questions over how the overspill is distributed to surrounding locations.”

See: https://portaldirector.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/local-plan-progress-marginal-claims-report/ for more information.

For the full report see: http://nlpplanning.com/uploads/ffiles/2015/03/219520.pdf

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown

March 25, 2015 3 comments

I’m trying to think of a tune to this song I’ve written – any ideas?

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think We’re On The Run?
We Are The Villagers Who Will Stop Your Little Game
We Are The Villagers Who Will Make You Think Again
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?

Mr Bower Goes Off To Town
For Planning Appeal Twenty-One
But He Comes Home Each Evening
And again, He Has Not Won

(So Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?)

So Watch Out Mrs Brown
You Have Met Your Match In Us
If You Think You Can Crush Us
We’re Afraid You’ve Missed The Bus
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?

The Villagers Prayer – are you listening Archbishop Justin?

March 25, 2015 1 comment

The Lords Prayer has been rewritten to incorporate  a prayer for our community which is under threat of predatory development from the church itself.

Maybe God will protect us from the church?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wv4p9pwkimq06fz/Villages%20Prayer.mp4?dl=0

 

 

 

A letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

March 3, 2015 1 comment

Attn. The Archbishop of Canterbury

Lambeth Palace,

London,

SE1 7JU

contact@lambethpalace.org.uk

Your Grace,

Many members of our local community find it concerning that the Arun Local Plan 2011 – 2031 Publication Version quotes the housing allocation for the villages of Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate as “at least 2,000 homes” and that the Masterplan produced by the Church Commissioners (as landowners) and their associates outlines proposals for “approximately 3,000 homes”. Luken Beck who represent the Church Commissioners have made representations to increase the strategic allocation to 3,000 houses.

Did the Church Commissioners make representations to increase the strategic allocation to 3,000 houses at previous consultation stages, or is this an attempt to increase the housing number by stealth, by waiting until after the site has been formally selected by the council? Not surprisingly the Church Commissioners have declined to answer this question. We would like to know the answer.

It seems that the church, through the Church Commissioners, is acting more like a predatory developer than a community leader. Many developers have made similar representations and why shouldn’t they – it’s their job. But the church? We expect moral leadership from the church not predatory conduct!

The local community are very uneasy with what is seen as a particularly proactive and aggressive attack by the Church Commissioners on the communities of Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate as well as those downstream like Felpham, Middleton and Bersted.

Another matter that concerns the local community is that the land south of the church’s land is in flood zone 3 (land at most risk of flooding). The church say they have carried out surveys to demonstrate the suitability of the land for housing – so what did their surveys say about the possibility of flood risk in Bersted, Felpham and Middleton? Our concern is that the church is so strongly motivated by money that it has not considered the communities downstream. We would like to know what the Church Commissioner’s surveys say about the prospects for the communities downstream!

The church will argue that people need homes and that the church is providing land to help achieve that – an argument I and others strongly support. It is right and proper that the church should sell land to provide housing for those in need (after all, there is a national housing crisis) – but only as long at the moral and ethical arguments are prioritised over the financial arguments. We question if that is happening in this case?

Personally, I have always accepted the need for large scale housing provision and so I support the 580 houses p.a. number as expressed in the Local Plan. However, where I differ from both Arun District Council and the church is that I believe the houses should be built on brownfield land – why destroy historic communities and valuable greenfield land when there is a large brownfield site nearby?

Where is the church’s loyalty towards the Helyer family who have farmed this land for generations?

The church is, in essence, advocating the use of greenfield land before brownfield land, which is in conflict with the NPPF, and is morally and ethically wrong. We are concerned that, because the church does not own any brownfield land in the Arun district, it is prioritising use of its own greenfield land over the moral and ethical arguments relating to the use of brownfield land – which can only mean that the church is motivated by financial gain!

Representations from the local community so far have had no impact (in fact, the church’s response is to ignore such representations and instead to make it’s own representations for an increase in the strategic development allocation – something that might be interpreted as a two fingered salute!). The church listens but it does not hear!

Many feel that this situation demonstrates a lack of moral leadership, as exercised by the church, through its commissioners. We feel that there is little point discussing the moral and ethical arguments with the Church Commissioners – it is more a matter for the church.

Remember Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

We would like to request a meeting with you to discuss the moral and ethical issues arising from this matter. Our community, a community whose existence was recognised in the Domesday Book, is in need – please do not walk by on the other side of the road.

Yours sincerely

Tony Dixon

4 Barons Close

Westergate

Chichester

West Sussex

PO20 3YS