West Sompting site scrutinised by planning inspector

West Sompting- Google Earth Image
West Sompting- Google Earth Image

The West Sompting greenfield site, allocated for 480 homes, was scrutinised and ‘fine-tuned’ by the planning inspector yesterday.

A two-week examination into the council’s local plan, which started on Tuesday , is taking place at the Shoreham Centre.

David Hogger, the planning inspector appointed to undertake the examination, asked whether the requirements in the plan set out were justified and viable and whether issues such as the flood risk and impact on infrastructure had been adequately assessed,

On the subject of flooding, David Johnson from the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England said there needed to be ‘arrangements that manage flooding from various sources.’

The site must be ‘safe for the rest of its lifetime,’ he said, warning against ‘short term answers for long term issues.’

Mr Cobley, representing Persimmon Homes, said a lot of technical work had taken place and that his clients had come up with a ‘drainage strategy to deal with this issue.’

The council was satisfied in terms of managing the flood risk, according to James Appleton – head of strategic planning and economic development – who said: “In this instance, we have the necessary checks and balances within the policy.”

He also told the Mr Hogger the council had ‘no delivery concerns with this site.’

He said: “If we did we would take a proactive approach to bring forward delivery.

“We are very keen to ensure delivery.”

Mr Cobley said it was intended that a planning application would be submitted for the site later this year.

He agreed with the planning inspector’s suggestion that the policy wording was rephrased from ‘approximately’ 480 homes to ‘at least’, to allow for more flexibility.

This would be ‘more appropriate’, he said, as it had been worked out that the site could accomodate somewhere between 445 and 520 homes.

Speaking to the Herald after the meeting, Mr Johnson said the site had been regarded as a ‘done deal’ and the meeting had involved ‘a bit of fine tuning around the edges.’

He said Sompting was a ‘problematic site’ and a ‘senstive place.’

“Any development will inevitably make the traffic worse,” he said.

Social housing was also ‘a major concern.’

The majority of the housing destined for the area would ‘do little to relieve the housing problem’, he said, as it would provide homes for newcomers to the area rather than the exisiting population.

Overall he said: “The Campaign to Protect Rural England are largely supportive of how Adur have dealt with the local plan.

“But we have major concerns about key areas.”

Click here for a summary of what the Adur Local Plan is all about.

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