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Campaigners’ delight at biggest donation for fund

DETERMINED Pagham residents have doubled a fund to fight new housing.

 

Members of Mill Farm Residents’ Association have given the biggest single donation so far to the account to pay for possible legal advice to tackle the major house-building plans.

 

The £3,000 was handed over by  association chairman Jane Collins to a founder of Pagham and Aldwick Greenfields Action Movement (PAGAM), Gill Homer.

 

The presentation on Wednesday smashed PAGAM’s initial fundraising target of £5,000 by taking their fund from some £2,800 to £6,000.

 

Mrs Collins said: “The idea for the donation came from our annual general meeting. One of our members, Geoff King, said we should put our money where our mouth is and back PAGAM to take action against Arun District Council.”

 

The idea was unanimously backed by the some 60 people at the meeting and a further 25 afterwards from the Pagham Road estate’s 250 households. The money had been raised from social events staged by the association over the years, she said.

 

Mrs Homer said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to get this money. It will really help us. It’s the largest donation we have had. People feel we are becoming prisoners in Pagham.

 

“We are not able to get out because there is so much traffic on the roads. The situation is ridiculous compared to how it was and I can’t see how the roads can be improved.”

 

The amount means PAGAM member Giles Binyon, pictured above at the top, will amend his 4.5m totem pole to reflect the larger amount.

 

PAGAM has been raising money since mid-May to enable it to get expert advice to challenge Arun District Council’s intention to earmark three sites in the area for up to 1,200 homes.

 

The locations at Sefter Road, Hook Lane and south of Summer Lane have been set aside in the council’s draft local plan for housing. Planning applications for 950 homes have been submitted to Arun by developers and had provoked 2,106 letters of protest by the start of this month.

 

The current version of the local plan land use blueprint will be assessed by a planning inspector this September. His verdict will produce the final version.

 

PAGAM wants to ensure residents’ voices are heard during the process. The money it is raising will pay for advice about how best to ensure that. It is continuing with its JustGiving page.

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