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Future of Pagham is planned

Six priorities have been identified by Pagham’s councillors for the future of the area.

 

The parish council has compiled its wish list for the area as part of its work for its proposed neighbourhood plan.

 

The draft document has been put together to help to protect Pagham until 2029.

 

It states: “The parish council will secure funding from planning obligations and the Arun community infrastructure levy in order to make financial contributions to a number of infrastructure projects during the life of the plan.

 

“Core priorities have been identified as:

 

1 flood protection from agricultural run-off

 

2 coastal protection

 

3 long-term pluvial (heavy rainfall) and fluvial (river) flood defence

 

4 securing a safe alternative cycle route to North Mundham and Chichester, avoiding the B2166

 

5 traffic-calming measures along Pagham Road

 

6 securing additional off-road parking within the villages

 

“The prioritisation and timing of these projects will be based on an assessment by the parish council of community need, viability and affordability and long-term community benefit and urgency.”

 

The plan of some 50 pages has been submitted to Arun District Council to consider in line with its planning policies.

 

A version of the neighbourhood plan will be put to a planning inspector to consider.

 

Once that opinion has been received, Pagham’s residents will have the chance to approve or reject it. If they back it, it will have official standing and will be used to influence plans around the parish.

 

Cllr David Huntley, the parish council’s deputy chairman, said it its latest meeting: “We are also busy with the neighbourhood plan. We need one because we are vulnerable without it. Thanks to everyone for their hard work on this.”

 

The parish council began work on a neighbourhood plan, in keeping with many of the parish councils around Bognor Regis, more than five years ago.

 

The initial effort was made by 30-plus individuals and councillors and was put to Arun. But, during the review, it was decided further work was required to understand the environmental impact of the plan’s proposals.

 

The plan was revised to take account of these studies but the policies were at odds with Arun’s decision to enable large numbers of homes to be built on sites in Pagham – and work on the neighbourhood plan was halted.

 

But a parish council statement says: “The council still considers the draft policies included in the plan to be of importance and looks forward to progressing it in the future.”

 

As well as infrastructure projects, the plan’s initial version also seeks to protect shops in the area. it states: “The parish council will support initiatives on high street renewal and encourages local traders and other partners to bring forward proposals to improve the vitality and viability of the Pagham Road and The Parade village centres.”

 

A total of 14 potential assets of community value have been identified as well. These include the village hall, the church hall and St Ninian’s Church.

 

Sustainable transport is another priority with Pagham Road traffic speeds managed and parking spaces protected.

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