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Stop homes – asks council

GOVERNMENT minister Sajid Javid is to be urged to halt 140 planned homes in North Bersted.


A letter is being sent by Bersted Parish Council to the secretary of state for communities and local government to request he calls in two planning applications for neighbouring sites.


The council’s members unanimously agreed on Tuesday to write to Mr Javid with their objections to the proposals for New Barn Lane.


One of the sites, for 90 homes by Landform, has been granted planning permission by Arun District Council – as reported – but the firm has sought a new access road which Arun has yet to agree.


The more recent planned development is for 50 homes from the Church Commissioners. That is still undecided.


Cllr Brian Knight, the parish council’s chairman, said: “I don’t know if the first application will be called in because it has already been decided. But, if the second one is called in, we can raise the case that the entrance to the first site has been moved and we can make sure he is aware of our displeasure about that.


“We can only keep plodding on and we are trying to do our best.” He said the parish council would have taken action sooner but it had been told by MP Nick Gibb that Mr Javid would not call in applications for less than 100 homes.


It was only discovered no limit existed when Cllr Knight and his deputy, Cllr David Lainchbury, attended a planning seminar held at Arun by a former planning inspector.


“We were under the impression that only Mr Gibb could request a call in above that number. We now know it is the parish council who can ask for a call in for any number of homes,” he said.


A call in sees the secretary of state decide to take a close look at a planning application. This can be before or after the local planning authority, in this case Arun, has made a decision about the scheme under scrutiny.


Mr Javid has recently called in a potential scheme for Yapton. A planning inquiry last week into 400 homes proposed for Fontwell was a result of the government being alerted to the objections to the proposal.


Cllr Lainchbury said: “No barrier exists for the number of homes to be called in. If our MP is not interested in taking up the cudgels on our behalf, then we have to act on our own and ask for the call in.”


Cllr Martin Lury said Mr Gibb had supported the protests against housing along Chalcraft Lane a few years ago. “He should show some consistency, having stated he was strongly against development,” he said.


Cllr Gill Yeates said Mr Gibb had been helpful in the past “We are not here to criticise him but we are here to make sure, as a parish council, we can and should take action as a parish council in respect of what the electorate want us to take action for,” she said.

Posted in Local Developments, News.