ONE vote equalled 300 homes for Pagham.
The 7-6 decision meant the housing on farmland in Hook Lane was approved on Wednesday at the second attempt.
The decision by Arun District Council’s development control committee will see the planning inquiry set to take place in October into the initial refusal last January on highways matters scrapped.
More than 1,000 homes in Pagham have been approved by Arun since last summer.
But the outline proposal by Hallam Land Management was only passed after fierce protests.
Pagham Parish Council chairman Cllr David Huntley said:
“This application will result in the loss of the best and most versatile land in an area of the best winter light and longest growing season.
“Agriculture and tourism, particularly Church Farm, are the biggest sources of employment in Pagham. This will kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
“This proposal is contrary to Arun’s tourism and horticulture proposals. The houses will not be affordable to locals, they do not meet a local need and will result in out-commuting, putting a further strain on our overloaded traffic system.”
Cllr Dawn Hall, the parish council’s planning committee chairman, said:
“We are unhappy with the already approved housing in Pagham for hundreds of houses. This is just a step too far.”
Committee member Cllr Hugh Coster (I, Aldwick E) spoke strongly against the scheme. He quoted several of Arun’s planning policies which he said were contravened by the proposal.
This included tackling road congestion and reducing the need for residents to travel. He said:
“This whole application is shot through with contrary issues to our local plan. If we are going to abide by our local plan, we must refuse it, quite apart from the very practical issues that have been mentioned by our public speakers, by the people who live there.”
Cllr Martin Lury (LD, Bersted), who is Arun’s cabinet member for planning, said the proposed homes would be at risk of flooding because of the low-lying area and the closeness of the sea.
“We have got to take much more account of climate change,” he said.
Cllrs Gill Yeates (LD, Bersted) and Cllr Jim Brooks (I, Marine) spoke out against the scheme as well.But Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston) said:
“None of the consultees have produced any evidence we can accept to support a refusal of this application.”
It would be illogical to refuse the homes on transport grounds when a transport assessment had been backed by county council highways officers, he said.
Cllr Jacky Pendleton (C, Middleton) said:
“I can’t see a planning reason for turning this down. We have a local plan…if we do not adhere to it we will be taken apart by the planning inspector.”
Owen Jones, Hallam’s planning agent, said it would be illogical for the committee to reject the scheme on road safety grounds when nearby schemes had been backed.
By Kevin Smith