HUNDREDS of new homes in Yapton will pay for about £1.5million-worth of road improvements in the area.
Councillors have approved two adjoining outline proposals for 550 dwellings in the village. The developers of the sites in Blisham Lane and east of Drove Lane have combined to provide a package of measures to ensure the additional traffic does not worsen road conditions.
The main priority would be to alter The Oystercatcher junction of Yapton Road and the A259, they were told by county highways team manager Steven Shaw. This is likely to see a roundabout installed, though studies are continuing into the best option.
This will receive £1m. Comet Corner will be in line for almost £650,000 towards changes. A cycleway between Yapton and Barnham railway station is to receive about £81,000. Four possible routes are being considered.
The Bilsham Road scheme will see up to 250 homes built on 11.6 hectares by housebuilder Gleeson Strategic Land.
Arun District Council development control committee’s acting vice-chairman, Cllr Stephen Haymes, said: “I am aware of people’s feelings about these applications, I know they are strong and well-founded as they don’t want to see the village overtaken with large and new developments.
“I, of course, as a life-long resident of Yapton have similar feelings. However…development is unavoidable. I am pleased that Yapton Parish Council in accepting that principle, although with reservations, have suggested certain requirements and conditions to mitigate the impact on the village.”
He said he was also pleased the two schemes would lead to an enlargement of the existing primary school, with developer funding, rather than the original proposal of a second school to create a split site teaching environment.
But he said he had two big concerns. “I believe Comet Corner should take priority over The Oystercatcher, especially as the proposed development on to Bilsham Road will take vehicles directly to Comet Corner. Turning right there is extremely dangerous,” he said.
He also believed the £270,000 to boost GP provision at The Croft surgery in Eastergate should go to the intended new primary care scheme in Yapton.
Adam Ross, Gleeson’s planning agent, told the committee on Wednesday the spending on infrastructure was the result of the councils, residents and developers working together.
“The challenging but collaborative approach adopted by all parties has produced a high quality proposal for this site which makes provision for key infrastructure improvements.”
The proposal saw 126 letters of objection submitted to Arun. The reasons included the loss of farmland, and drainage and traffic fears.
The committee’s unanimous decision is subject to the signing of the legal agreements for the funding between Gleeson and the relevant authorities.