AREA Supporters’ Newsletter July 26, 2020

Dear Supporters

We hope you have all kept well and have been able to make the most of the cleaner air and diminished traffic which, unfortunately, is creeping back up to pre-covid levels.

KINGSTON WHARF – If you have been reading the local paper you will know this development on the A259 of 255 homes with blocks up to 8 storeys, a large storage unit and offices was approved. AREA was appalled that there was so much missing evidence on infrastructure issues and that so many policies in Adur’s Local and Joint Area Action Plans were disregarded. We wrote to the council and all members of the planning committee to voice our objections and also sent a press release to the Shoreham Herald and the Argus, which we hope will be published soon.
The vote was 4 in favour and 4 against. This was a rare occasion when members did not vote strictly along party lines. However, we believe that rules allowing the Chair, Carol Albury, to cast the tie breaking vote when she had already voted, are seriously flawed. We have written to councillor Albury and to the Head of Planning, James Appleton, to express our dismay. We believe that decisions on major developments which are opposed by half of the planning committee should not hinge on the vote of one person and should be deferred and decided at a later meeting. We are awaiting a reply from Mr Appleton.

The decision on this development was questionable in other ways:
⦁ The Head of Planning, James Appleton, stated he was not aware of a decision by central government to permit extension of financial agreements which would remove pressure for a decision on that night.
⦁ Pressure was applied by Councillor Albury for a decision that night.
⦁ Hyde Homes, the developers, applied pressure by stating that the financial funding from Homes England would be lost if any decision was delayed. Their representative and the Head of Planning did not clarify that they could apply for an extension of the funding.
⦁ Pressure was applied by the tone of the letter from Hyde Homes, which a number of councillors felt was threatening.
⦁ No Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) m was undertaken for this development (or the Civic Centre.) AREA queried this and received an inadequate reply.

This meeting was another example of the helplessness of local residents to have any influence on planning decisions. Many members of the Planning Committee and the Head of Planning plough on with pushing for approval, whether appropriate or not, of developments which will increase traffic and pollution, which go against planning and environmental policies and which will further stretch the already struggling infrastructure. They predict over 200 children just at Kingston Wharf.

MONITORS – If anyone with an android phone would like to use one of our monitors to measure the particulate levels near their homes please let us know by emailing Geoff at geoffhodgson20@gmail.com Unfortunately they do not work with iphones.

NEW MONKS FARM – Groundwork for the first 60 homes has begun but until the Manor roundabout is modified no further housing can proceed. The Withy Patch community have been told they will be moving in November. BUT WHAT ABOUT IKEA??? – no groundwork in progress. However, work is underway on the pumping station, including the diversion of Cecil Pashley way.

WEST SOMPTING development – Revised plans for the first 100 homes of a 520 home development by developers Persimmon can be viewed on AWDM/0203/19 on the Adur Planning website.

If you no longer wish to receive newsletters from AREA please contact barbok70@gmail.com

With thanks for your continuing support from all the committee.

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