October 3rd Planning meeting – a disgraceful, undemocratic sham
Well what a farce the meeting was! We thought it was a foregone conclusion how it would turn out but they were quite blatant in their bias. The Tory councillors had already made up their minds and technically should not even have been there as they are meant to have an open mind! The lack of fair play was especially obvious when the issue of the yellow and blue t shirts arose. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, let me explain.
The developers were supplying these “vote yes “ t shirts to their employees and any other supporters. We complained that at the July meeting we had been asked to remove our “No IKEA ” badges so why were the IKEA coloured t- shirts being allowed and shouldn’t a council official have asked them to be removed. The Chairman of the meeting, Pat Beresford, shouted at us that if we did not sit down he would have us kicked out.
So much for fair play. In the end Martin Perry, the prime Albion mover for the development, asked them to remove the shirts but only about 3 did . Not an auspicious beginning and certainly not our idea of fair play. We shall be writing to complain.
It’s not got the Green Light Yet
Just because it has passed at the meeting doesn’t mean that is the end of the road. Firstly, the developers, statutory authorities and Council have to agree the S106 payments (money for extras like education etc.). This is now delegated to the Head of Planning. There is no way of saying how long that will take. Secondly, the Council will have to submit the final plan to the Secretary of State. Then the Secretary of State has to examine the plan to see if Adur council’s approval is acceptable given the size of these developments and because they are in a Greenfield area.
He will also examine the “call in “ letters and if he finds valid reasons to have a further examination, he will appoint an Inspector. This procedure would take place as a public hearing.
Another avenue is for anyone or any group to submit a “call in” letter “. A final avenue is for any group or person to request a judicial review. That would have to be organised through a legal service which will make the necessary submissions. Within six weeks of the Secretary of State’s approval a request for a judicial review can be submitted.
Four groups have submitted “call in “ letters to the Secretary of State: AREA, Friends of the Earth, CPRE ( Campaign to Protect Rural England), and FFT(Friends, Families and Travellers). If you wish to submit a “call in “ letter here are the details for members of the public: Please do so as quickly as possible.
National Planning Casework Unit, 5 St Philips Place, Colmore Rd. Birmingham, B32PW
ATTN Mr. Chapman REF: Two major Adur District Council planning applications
New Monks Farm AWDM/0961/17 Airport AWDM/1093/17
By email: PCU@communities.gsi.gov.uk
Using the booklet which was sent out you can choose the issues which most concern you making sure you reference the policies which are contravened. (Adur Local Plan, National Planning Policy Framework etc.)
We will be submitting further information to supplement our original request for “call in” and including the airport application this time.
We are also looking at the possibility of obtaining legal advice. So do not despair. We may have lost the first battle but the war is not over. We will be working even more closely with CPRE, Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, individuals from the airport as well as South Downs National Park, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Friends, Families Travellers group.
Other Failures for the Community
You will have heard that Lancing College withdrew their objection at the last minute because they were promised that an additional exit (4th arm) would be included on the new magic roundabout (with lights). The cost of that arm is estimated to be £2million! Strange that money could be found for that, yet the amount of affordable rented housing has been cut as well as the children’s play area and (probably) any funding for the school or secondary education, not to mention the substandard access into the National Park.
Meanwhile, AREA put out another CALL to you – write letters to the local paper. Let me know if you do, or even email me a copy. It would be interesting to see how many are actually printed. They need to be in by Monday evening at the latest. ALSO, given the recent news about the effects of NO2 perhaps the Minister for the Environment needs another few letters about the levels of pollution on the A27, particularly at Grove Lodge and around the Grinstead Lane roundabout. The only mention of pollution at the meeting was to say the Environment officer said levels at the site (meaning the flood plain where IKEA will be built) were ok. So never mind the residents along the A27, the Withy Patch Community and the people in cars. All this information is in the AREA booklet.
ALL IS NOT LOST.
We hope to produce another leaflet for the next farmers’ market telling residents about the meeting. Post any comments on the New Monks Farm facebook page and on Facebook.com/Adurresidentsenvironmentaction
Thanks for all your support, especially those who have offered to help, those who have helped with their research and those who have offered their thanks.
From all the committee