WE WILL win, Pagham’s residents have been told by their council chairman.
Cllr Ray Radmall said he and his colleagues, backed by a widespread community campaign, were working hard to ensure proposals for thousands of homes in the area were rejected.
He told the Pagham annual electors’ meeting their efforts had prompted the government to get involved.
“We stand a very good chance of winning this,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I’m grateful to the community that has done a significant amount of letter writing not only to Arun District Council – with some 2,000 letters – but to the secretary of state in the government.
“That prompted the secretary of state (then Sajid Javid) to inform Arun he was considering taking the plans on board.
“Nicola Jones, our clerk, has spoken to his case officer and he is putting it forward for a possible call in.
“He wants all the evidence in the next few weeks because it ticks all the boxes.”
If the secretary of state following the general election, decides to call in any of the three large-scale planning applications it will mean a government-appointed inspector will decide the proposals rather than the district council.
As reported, Taylor Wimpey wants to build up to 250 homes at Sefter Road, Hallam Land wants up to 300 homes at Hook Lane and up to 400 are proposed off Summer Lane by Hanbury Properties.
But Cllr Radmall said he believed Arun was seeking some 800 homes across the first two sites and 600 at Summer Lane to enable it to meet its district-wide housing targets of 1,000 homes a year until 2031.
“This will destroy the Pagham that we know and enjoy and ruin the village atmosphere of our area,” he told the annual meeting on Tuesday.
One of those present, June Hamilton, of Lower Bognor Road, said she believed the incentive of £47m in the New Homes Bonus from the government which she calculated the housing to be worth to councils, encouraged its approval.
“This turns the due process in terms of planning and democracy on its head. This should go to a judicial review.
“We should not let these greedy developers come in here and ruin our lifestyle and countryside,” she said to applause from the 30 people present
Mrs Hamilton also cast doubt on the developers’ ability to look after the wildlife in the area. She listed creatures, such as great crested newts and water voles, she knew lived in her garden.
Cllr Radmall warned of widespread disruption if the housing was approved. One of the developers had told him building work would take at least five years. “There will be heavy lorries, concrete wagons, noise and mess and everything else. It will be terrible,” he added.
Another resident, Mike Pierce, said: “All this heavy traffic coming through will damage our road system badly and make the roads unsafe for our young people.”