Council officers refused the original application, which would take place on land north of Chalcraft Lane, because it failed to prove there would not be a ‘severe cumulative residual impact on the road network’.
The application also failed to provide a ‘relevant’ transport assessment to address off-site capacity requirements and did not sufficiently encourage sustainable modes of transport. Council planning officers pointed out that no S106 legal agreement had been completed, which meant the project would not contribute to the agreed strategic approach to access management at Pagham Harbour.
As a result, the new submission, which was filed on May 27, is supported by a new Transport Assessment..
The assessment, authored by i-Transport, concludes that the proposed development complies with requirements, making clear that “the opportunities for sustainable travel have been appropriately taken up,” that “safe and suitable access can be achieved” and “improvements can be undertaken within the transport network that cost-effectively limit the impacts of the development.”
In short, the assessment claims that Landform’s proposed development will not have a ‘severe impact’ on the operation of the highway network.
Despite this, some residents have already made their displeasure clear.
“Access to site via a simple priority junction is absurd and dangerous for the amount of units. This road is already very busy with accident black spots at Chalcraft/ West Meads Junction,” one resident said in an online comment.
They went on to claim that it is ‘total nonsense’ to assume that residents will walk or car share to work and said local infrastructure had not been adequately considered, suggesting that local GPs, dentists and hospitals are ‘at breaking point.’
Similar objections were made when the application was originally submitted last year. Before the original application was refused, 33 residents expressed concerns about everything from the loss of green space to the continuing flood risk in the area.
Like residents, Bersted Parish Council also expressed concerns about the original application, claiming it would put too much pressure on existing road junctions.
They went on to express ‘grave concerns about the sustainability of the site’ after statements from Southern Water and Canon Consulting which suggested that the 3 manhole covers currently on the site were not enough to support the development.
In 2018, Arun District Council’s 20 year plan included the strategic allocation of 2,500 homes in Bersted.
Landform, the Church Commissioners for England and Landlink together own the land within this strategic allocation.