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Group seeks George’s help

Architect and television presenter George Clarke has been asked to join in Pagham’s housing battle.


The committee of Pagham and Aldwick Greenfields Movement (Pagam) has written to the presenter of Channel 4 programmes, such as Amazing Spaces and George Clark’s Council House Scandal, to find out if he will be willing to look into the village’s situation.


Pagam chairman Alan Pivett says in the group’s latest newsletter it was prompted to act by Mr Clarke’s involvement with Manchester City Council on a scheme to deliver affordable and social housing.


Mr Pivett sent a precis, with the help of supporter Clive Mott, of the housing proposals for Pagham.


“…we have appealed to him via an initial four page resume to look at our plight and the way the village is being destroyed in all but name by greedy landowners and equally arrogant developers who cynically believe they are doing the best for our community,”


he stated.


“They merely see this area as an undeveloped cash cow and have no scruples about whose life of wellbeing it destroys.


“Remember, they rarely make any money on affordable/social housing, merely selling it at cost to housing associations to sort the problem out.


“So, there is no real incentive to build ‘step up the ladder’ homes for young people. Their target market is those from cash-rich suburbs to here then out-commute to work, stretching our infrastructure to breaking point.


“We have been told that at least 40 per cent of homes built on the Manhood peninsula are brought to let, which …is appalling.”


As reported, Arun District Council has set aside in its local plan land use blueprint three sites in Pagham for large scale housing developments.


These are Sefter Road, south of Summer Lane and north of Hook Lane.


Outline plans for the schemes have been approved by councillors to establish the principle of building on the land but the detailed designs have yet to be submitted for a decision.


Mr Pivett said Pagam was disappointed the intended planning enquiry into the scheme for Hook Lane did not take place as planned on October 22.


This was cancelled the week by the developer, Hanbury Properties, after it had received planning permission from Arun for a duplicate application.


“…the appeal was withdrawn by the developer at the last moment, effectively pulling the rug from under our feet and depriving all of us the opportunity to tell a planning inspector just why, in this case, Hook Lane was not necessary,” says Mr Pivett.


“But, rest assured, it makes us more determined than ever to beat Hallam at this game of chess.”


He said the group was also finding out how it could test the water in Pagham Harbour regularly to gauge its quality.


This follows the Bognor Regis Post’s report last month about Church Norton resident Sarah Logan’s complaint about her latest experience of raw sewage when she was canoeing in the harbour.


“This brings into focus and reinforces the issues surrounding Southern Water and their ability, or inability, to deal with the waste from the proposed developments in the Pagham area,”


he added.

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