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Homes’ accident fears cause delay

Road safety worries have led councillors to put planned Pagham homes on hold.

 

The risk of collisions in the access road to the proposed nine dwellings on a field behind the Inglenook Hotel saw them call for a detailed study of the layout.

 

Arun District Council’s development control committee members agreed unanimously to call in an independent expert to review the intended arrangements. The study will include the safety of drivers and pedestrians using the access road to the housing and those crossing the entrance in Pagham Road.

 

The access will only be wide enough in places for one vehicle to pass and it lacks a footpath.

 

Cllr Martin Lury (LD, Bersted) told the committee at Wednesday’s meeting: “I think this is an accident waiting to happen and that, to me, seems utterly crazy. I certainly would not want my children walking from the development to the houses, which is what they would naturally do. Because there’s no footpath, it is clearly unsafe.”

 

Cllr Amanda Worne (LD, Yapton) said: “I would feel very vulnerable in my wheelchair. To me, it’s a good site to have houses but only if there is an access which is going to be for everybody.”

 

Cllr Jacky Pendleton (C, Middleton) said: “If I was in a wheelchair, I would not go down that road at all. That is the big concern to me.”

 

Cllr Hugh Coster (Aldwick E) said: “This access is plainly untenable. Where the cars will be parked, they will not be able to see around the corner.

 

“If they meet head-on, one of them is going to have to reverse back.

 

“It simply is not going to work and it can’t be allowed to happen.”

 

Arun planning officer Daniel Vick recommended the scheme for approval. He said highways officers at West Sussex County Council had not objected to the scheme.

 

The proposals were put forward by Mr A. Honour. They would see eight houses and a bungalow built on 0.4 hectares.

 

His planning agent, Michael Biss, said at the committee the current plans were the result of talks with Pagham Parish Council and nearby residents.

 

“We have made several amendments to the design to try to find common ground with the residents,” he said.

 

“There have been no objections to the plans from any of the statutory consultees. In the 40 years, the applicant has owned the hotel there have been no accidents or complaints whatsoever.”

 

But Cllr Dawn Hall, of Pagham Parish Council, said its members had strong objections to the access.

 

“We know cars and pedestrians are not a good mix, especially in confined areas,” she said.

 

Jane Collins, who represents residents on the adjoining Mill Farm estate, said the housing would generate up to 42 vehicle movements a day and called for a road safety audit to be carried out.

 

A total of 48 objections from residents to the plans were received by Arun.

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