By Kevin Smith
Roadsafety fears about plans to house nursery workers in Pagham have prompted protests by neighbouring parish councils.
Applicant CRE8 has asked Arun District Council to grant a lawful development certificate to allow Newlands Nursery in Pagham Road to be used to accommodate spring seasonal workers.
But North Mundham Parish Council’s clerk, Louise Chater, has told Arun the application should be refused for several reasons. They included the site’s access.
“The B2166 (Pagham Road) has no pavements or cycle lanes, and provides no safe routes for cyclists or pedestrians,” she wrote.
“And yet the applicant emphasises that few of the workers to be accommodated at the site will be allowed to keep cars.
“They will be at the mercy of the bus service which is infrequent or non-existent in the evenings and at weekends.”
Nicola Swann, her counterpart at Pagham Parish Council, has written to Arun that her members have the same concern.
“…the harm is the impact on the transport network, the neighbourliness of a development of this size, the suitability of the site for the number of individuals proposed who would have no access to commercial or leisure services without using either a very infrequent bus service or walking on an unsuitable road,” she states.
Both parish councils have also called on Arun to remove the permitted development rights for the site to ensure it cannot be used for accommodation.
Ms Chater adds: “To accept a new residential facility for seasonal workers on this site without any supporting justification sets an unacceptable precedent for other such developments elsewhere.
We believe the intended development on the site should not be allowed to proceed.”
CRE8 wants to use the site for 31 caravans, each containing six adults, because its existing accommodation in Bracklesham is being developed.
The company withdrew a planning application to enable the placing of the caravans earlier this year and has replaced it with the current application.
Twenty seven letters of objection about the latest scheme have been received by Arun. Among the residents to protest is Dr Ed Simpson, of Pagham Road.
He states: “If this were to be approved, Arun Council would be tacitly sanctioning the regular use – in the light and the dark – of large groups of pedestrians on an incredibly busy and accident-prone road, as they attempt to reach local facilities.”
Pagham Road was the only route which could be used to reach the surrounding area, he writes.
“The only way is via a fast, unlit road, with no pavement -not even any side embankment – to walk on,” adds Dr Simpson. “Pedestrians – perhaps in groups – will be hit by fast moving vehicles. It’s just a question of when and to what tragic end.”