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Refusal after road moans

ACTION has been demanded on the A259 before new homes in Climping are approved.


The improvements to the Oystercatcher and Comet Corner junctions have been called for by councillors.


Arun District Council’s development control committee said they wanted the work to be funded as part of the housing scheme just north of the route between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.


Its members said the £1.52m of measures agreed by the developer, Mulgrave Properties, with their planning officers and highways officers at West Sussex County Council where inadequate.


These included a new roundabout at the A259’s junction with Church Lane and land put aside for 15 years at the Oystercatcher site to enable work to take place.


Cllr Elaine Stainton (C, Felpham W) said: “You take your life in your hands at Comet Corner. This is an absolutely crazy scheme. I can’t vote for this.


“I know we need houses and, perhaps, Climping should play their part but I will not be voting for this.”


Cllr Barbara Oakley (C, Middleton) said: “We are going mad in this country. All our problems are a result of Conservative government policies.


“The A259 is a great nightmare. I use it every day and I take my life in my hands in coming out of Middleton and turning right to Littlehampton.


“The so-called improvement at Comet Corner is laughable. The traffic from Littlehampton to Bognor Regis is such a speed you can’t turn right.


“We can’t go on like this. We have to look at these planning applications holistically. We have to stop this nonsense at looking at them independently.”


Two potential major development sites – at Ford Airfield and Littlehampton’s West Bank – could be used for another 3,000 houses to add even further pressure to the road, she said.


The impact of the extra housing on doctors, schools and hospitals and the lack of top grade farmland were also reasons to refuse the plans.


The committee also agreed at last Thursday’s meeting the outline plans for west of Church Lane and south of Horsemere Green Lane were premature by being submitted before Arun’s local plan blueprint is debated at a public enquiry next month.


But the casting vote of the chairman, Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston), led to the proposal to fight the scheme on the number of houses being rejected after a 6-6 vote tie.


The committee also decided not to fight the scheme on the loss of the 27 hectares of top grade farmland or to seek extra funding for infrastructure on top of the £3.4m total negotiated by officers led by Claire Potts.


Climping Parish Council chairman Cllr Colin Humphries and objectors Shirley Hayward and Alan Lovell spoke out against the proposals.


Mr Lovell warned: “The problems we already see daily on the A259 are there because of the corridor’s capacity not just this one pinchpoint.


“If you think it’s bad on the A259 today, it will be paralysis tomorrow.”

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