ANGRY residents around Pagham and North Bersted have been told to remember their feelings at next May’s elections.
Many homeowners are upset about the approval by Arun District Council’s members of its local plan.
This has established the principle of building 1,200 homes in Pagham and 2,500 off Chalcraft Lane in North Bersted.
Planning applications for the three sites in Pagham have been submitted by various developers. No formal proposals have been put forward for Chalcraft Lane but the site was the subject of an application ten years ago.
The campaign against the housing has been led by the members of the Pagham and Aldwick Greenfield Movement (PAGAM).
One of the group’s founders, Albert Homer, said voters should use their anger about the housing at the local government elections next May.
All Arun’s 54 members – 42 of them Conservatives – will have to stand for re-election in the ballot boxes.
Mr Homer, in a letter on behalf of PAGAM, said: “At the elections for councillors for Arun District Council next year we need to remember what has transpired in our district with regards to the local plan.
“We should cast our votes with regard to local issues and choose candidates who not only listen to us but will do everything in their power to address the issues we raise.
“It is not a matter of voting for the strongest party, the party who have always voted for or the one your parents voted for – times change, issues change and we must try and do what is best for our district. Our future depends on it.”
PAGAM had informed residents about the impact of the housing developments planned for the western edge of the Arun district, he said.
This include the homes’ effect on Pagham Harbour local nature reserve, the absence of adequate roads, the problems of flooding if the homes are built on flood plains and overstretched services such as doctors and schools.
There was also the loss of the best and most versatile farmland for the housing.
“It must be overwhelmingly evident from all that has been said that these developments are going to cause many problems, not only for present residents, but all those who are yet to come to live here,” said Mr Homer.
“Despite these protestations, Arun – having a huge Tory majority – rather than heeding the warnings they have been given, have chosen to ignore them and follow the agenda that their political masters in Westminster have set for them.
“They have set a target of 20,000 homes to be built in Arun from 2011 to 2031 – a target that is unlikely to be met since it will be the builders who will construct homes at a rate which will ensure they make maximum profits from them.”
Such skewed decision-making made a mockery of democracy. An apolitical council would have been expected to decide differently based on the expected effect of the housing, he added.