FEARS about road safety saw a scheme for 300 homes in Pagham rejected.
The members of Arun District Council’s development control sub-committee overturned their officers’ recommendation to back the outline proposal because they were worried extra traffic generated by the housing would worsen conditions on Pagham Road.
They said this would worsen the road’s existing congested conditions and increase the risks to motorists and cyclists.
The mitigation measures put forward by the developer, Hallam Land Management, were not enough to overcome the concerns. The reason was agreed by 11-3, with one abstention, to leave the council facing the risk of an appeal by Hanbury to a planning inspector.
Cllr Dawn Hall (C, Pagham) said a recent independent road safety audit failed to convince her the additional traffic could be absorbed safely.
“I object strongly to another access on to Pagham Road. I know we are taking mitigation measures to improve access on to the road. “But we are creating another one, which will cause even more problems.
“It’s all been said before. We know exactly what the problems are with the road, with Pagham and with the accesses. This development will just exacerabate the problem,” she said.
“We have to remember that Pagham is a holiday place. It’s extremely important because of the nature reserve.”
Cllr Pat Dillon (C, Pevensey), a Pagham resident, said: “I concur with Cllr Hall on all the issues she has spoken about because I have raised them.”
Cllr Elaine Stainton (C, Felpham W) said the audit did not seem to have changed the situation about the conditions of the road. “The infrastructure worries me deeply,” she said. “We all know that road, how dangerous it is. The last four weeks before Christmas we had accidents there.”
Cllr Barbara Oakley (C, Middleton) said: “I share the reservations expressed by the previous speakers.
“I still don’t think we have solved the road issues which are extremely serious in this application.”
Wednesday’s meeting of the committee was the third time the proposal had been on its agenda.
The first saw it fail to be debated after the meeting last October was suspended by its chairman. The following meeting, a month later, ended with councillors voting for the road safety audit to be held.
At the latest meeting, David Easton, one of Arun’s planning officers, said a more detailed road safety audit would be carried out if permission was granted.
Committee member Cllr John Charles (C, Barnham) said “The road safety audit has been to the local highways authority and they see no problem with it. They agree with the accesses to and from the site.
“The problem regarding highways appears to be existing highways problems and these cannot be affected by this application.”