Arundel Airbnb plan: The TaxPayers' Alliance joins protest against Arun District Council's 'high-risk plan'

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) was in Arundel last week to join residents opposing Arun District Council’s plan to build a luxury Airbnb on River Road.
The TPA campaign day in ArundelThe TPA campaign day in Arundel
The TPA campaign day in Arundel

The TPA claims the council’s estimated cost of nearly half a million pounds is disputed by tradespeople, with the campaign group warning against what it calls a ‘high-risk plan’.

The TPA collected signatures for a letter to councillors, to encourage them to put a stop to the development. The letter can be found at:

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Speaking in Arundel, Elliot Keck, investigations campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “Plans for a council-built B&B are coming up against fierce local opposition. The sums just don’t add up, and it seems a clear case of a local authority biting off more than it can chew.

“The council should focus on delivering public services, not using taxpayers’ money for needless property speculation.”

Arundel Town Council is also unhappy about the application. Mayor Tony Hunt said: “Being on the banks of the River Arun we know a lot about tides and we believe the tide is turning. Some Arun District Councillors are beginning to question whether it is right to ride rough-shod over local opinion and provide funds for this Airbnb when council money is tight and when the economics of the proposal are so questionable.

"It is obvious that to create a sustainable future for Arundel, we need more off-street parking with electrical charging points. In our conservation area many people do not have either garages or drives, and so the government’s plans for switching to electric cars depends on there being sufficient charging points in the town.“The garages that Arun District own in River Road are dilapidated and need to be demolished. For the District Council to be ignoring the views of the town council and local residents in this way is not a good reflection of how local democracy is meant to work. It is a great shame because in recent years the town and district council have been working well together to the benefit of Arundel residents.“Over and above the economics, we believe that it is dangerous to encourage visitors to drive to this River Road location. This is a narrow road, with no pavement, and driving down the steep and winding Brewery Hill or turning left off Arun Street to get there are both hazardous if you are a visitor and unfamiliar with these roads.”

Arun District Council was asked for comment.