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‘Roads must be improved’

ROADS around Bognor Regis must be improved as part of major housing schemes, a leading councillor has said.


Cllr Trevor Bence said the need for work on roads such as Lower Bognor Road had to be highlighted when the planning proposals were being considered.


He said that number of new homes would affect conditions on the road and others nearby such as Pagham Road.


“We must not miss the opportunity for developers to make amendments to those roads,” he told Arun District Council’s local plan sub-committee.


“Now is a golden opportunity to do what we have promised all the way along and hold the developers to account to spend some money where it is needed.”


The emphasis seemed to be solely on work to upgrade the A259 Chichester Road, he said. That was needed but other roads would also need work once some 4,500 homes were built off Chalcraft


Lane and at three sites in Pagham, he said at Monday’s meeting.


” It took me 45 minutes this morning to get from the Pink Pub to the Bognor roundabout on the A27. The traffic was locked. But it is simply not the case that the A259 is the only road that needs adjustments. Anyone knows that is not the case. ”


Cllr Bence (C, Aldwick E), the council’s cabinet member for residential services, was reacting to the council’s reply to the initial questions from planning inspector Mark Dakeyne to the proposals in the council’s draft local plan land use blueprint. Mr Dakeyne chaired the examination in public into the proposals in September and is set to issue his final verdict early next year.


He questioned the impact of the mitigation works put forward by highways consultants to cope with the extra traffic generated by the housing.


Arun planning policy team leader Julia Dawe said in a report the effect of the additional vehicles would be dealt with by mitigation at other junctions. These included re-routing to the A259 because of Bognor Road roundabout mitigation.


“There is an awful lot of work that we have listed that we want the developers to pay for,” she told the meeting.


“The inspector does say an awful lot of mitigation is required but it looks like it is acceptable and the developers have taken it forward.”


Sub-committee chairman Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston) said the developers would be asked to pay for the necessary changes.


“We have required all the developers in Pagham to produce a joint transport assessment as part of their planning applications they have been putting forward. We have to make sure the evidence is there to support our side of the argument,” he said.


Cllr Terence Chapman (C, East Preston) said: “I have a lot of sympathy with what Cllr Bence is saying. I understand the situation we are in and there will be further work.”


The councillors agreed the responses.

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