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Residents fight new homes

ENOUGH is enough – hundreds of residents have told developers of the latest plan for a large estate in Pagham.


The high turnout of some 200 people in four hours greeted the third major development scheme being drawn up for the village. Hallam Land Management wants to build up to 300 of them on farmland on Hook Lane.


The exhibition follows one by Taylor Wimpey four months ago for a similar sized scheme off Sefter Road. Another development for several hundred homes is planned around Summer Lane. They total some 900 properties. Lion Road resident Dominic Kelly, 47, was among those who went along to Monday’s display.


He said: “The biggest concern for me is traffic. Pagham seems to be a cul-de-sac with one road in and one road out. We need a cycle lane all the way to Chichester. “The existing road network has to be improved. With farm tractors, lorries and everything else, the roads are far too narrow.”


Jane Collins, who chairs the Mill Farm Residents’ Association, said: “Hallam have been told to talk to the other two developers. It’s disappointing that everybody seems to be ganging up on Pagham.


“I’ve got no confidence in Arun District Council for planning because I don’t think they understand the impact these schemes are going to have on Pagham.


“The one word that comes to mind is sustainable – and Pagham village will not be sustainable.


“It’s such a shame that, because of mismanagement by the government, local authorities are churning these houses out left, right and centre. “Small villages like Pagham – through no fault of their own – are being dumped upon.”


Campaigners have organised a meeting for 7pm tonight at Church Farm Holiday Village in Pagham to gather support for their protests.


Members of Pagham and Aldwick Green Fields Action Movement were at Monday’s six hour long exhibition handing out leaflets.


Committee member Pam Hickey said: “People’s reaction has been brilliant. Everyone who has been at this exhibition has had a leaflet. We have probably given out 1,000 leaflets in all.


“There will be a good turnout at the meeting. We want as many people as possible to get involved with us.”


At the exhibition, Hallam explained how its initial proposals would make good use of the 17.4 hectare site. It plans to submit a planning application for 230-300 homes to Arun before Christmas.


An 80-bed care home/specialist housing for the elderly and a children’s play space are also envisaged.


A children’s playschool and two-form entry primary school could be included as well. Ruth McKeown, of Hallam, said: “Traffic and flooding are the key issues people have raised.


“We have been told by Arun to work with the developers of the other two sites. This means we are looking at the cumulative impact of our scheme with the other two because all the schemes are being promoted at the same time. That work is being undertaken.”


Transport expert Melanie A’Lee said: “We are constrained in how much land is available for improvements. We expect this scheme to generate 160 two-way trips at peak hours.


“We don’t think there are any major infrastructure problems with our scheme but we are looking at its effects combined with the others.


“There are a few issues concerning Pagham Road with cyclists and HGVs. That is something we will look at and take on board the concerns of people.


“But, at the end of the day, it will be down to the county council who will decide what needs to be done.”

Posted in Community, Council, News.