GOVERNMENT minister Sajid Javid has scrapped plans for up to 100 homes in Yapton. Mr Javid delighted villagers by overruling one of his planning inspectors about the scheme on land to the south of Ford Lane and east of North End Road.
One of his civil servants, Phil Barber, issued the decision last week. He wrote that the Yapton Neighbourhood Plan, which was backed by residents, should take precedent in deciding if the housing should go ahead.
The plan did not allocate the site for housing when it was backed by villagers two years ago. A total of 369 of them wrote to protest against the homes. “The Secretary of State finds that the proposal is in conflict with Policy BB1 (in the plan) as it is not in the built up area boundary and does not fall within any of the exemptions listed in the policy.
“The Secretary of State considers that neighbourhood plans, once made part of the development plan, should be upheld as an effective means to shape and direct development in the neighbourhood planning area in question.
“He therefore concludes that the identified adverse impacts of this proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the identified benefits when assessed against the policies….as a whole. The Secretary of State concludes that the policies should fail,” Mr Barber said.
Yapton Parish Council clerk Andrew Gardiner said: “This shows that made neighbourhood plans do have a value. It is great news and timing, especially with the call-in on the Burndell Road site.”
Mr Javid has also recently agreed to review Arun District Council’s decision to approve 108 homes for Burndell Road. For the Ford Lane/North End Road scheme, Keith Langmead Ltd asked Arun for outline planning permission for up to 100 homes, with one in three being affordable, on 3.4 hectares of land together with 1.1ha of public open space and strategic landscaping and 2.2ha of public open space and vehicle access.
Arun refused permission for the homes in October 2014. This was overturned by planning inspector David Nicholson after a public inquiry in July 2015 following Keith Langmead’s appeal against the council’s decision. Mr Javid has agreed with much of Mr Nicholson’s reasoning.
He agrees Yapton is one of the district’s most sustainable locations for new housing and that Arun cannot show a five year housing land supply as the government requires. He also says the new housing would not harm St Mary’s Church. But none of these matters is enough to outweigh the importance of the neighbourhood plan.