Residents opposed to 90-home scheme in Arundel call for greenfield site to be protected

Residents opposed to plans for 90 new homes in Arundel have called for the proposed site to be preserved as greenfield land.

Residents against the proposed development
Residents against the proposed development

Carol Stevens, 64, and Mark Stevens, 63, said the proposed development off Ford Road would encourage urban sprawl, altering Arundel’s ‘picturesque vista’ and setting a precedent to develop more greenfield sites.

“To destroy yet more of our environment at this time of catastrophic climate change is unacceptable,” they said.

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“Covering greenfield land with concrete would be an action to increase greenhouse gas emissions.”

The site near Arundel

The couple live in High Ridge Close, a cul-de-sac where a footpath entrance to the development has been proposed – which they said would impact on their privacy.

Their neighbours, Les and Edith Voke who have lived in High Ridge Close for 32 years, also raised environmental concerns.

“We need to preserve our countryside and not allow it to be swallowed up in more concrete,” they said.

The proposed development would be accessed from Ford Road, which the pair said was ‘already overcrowded’ – warning that vehicles from the site, along with those from the planned development at end of Church Lane, would produce gridlock.

Residents against the proposed development

Almost 700 residents have signed a petition against the plans. Other concerns include the increased pressure the scheme would put on schools and doctor’s surgeries.

A spokesman for The Norfolk Estate, which put forward the plans, said: “Our approach at Ford Road has been to achieve a high-quality development which benefits the community and makes a positive contribution to Arundel.

“Our plan would create a new neighbourhood, providing much needed open market and affordable housing along with new public open spaces for the recreation and enjoyment of all.

“Arundel requires new housing for local families and this scheme will deliver 90 homes of which 30 per cent will be affordable, helping to meet pressing needs identified by the Arundel Community Land Trust.

“Contributions will be made towards upgrading infrastructure such as road improvements and meeting other local needs.

“During our initial public consultation last summer, two thirds of respondents said they supported the principle of developing the Ford Road site with the inclusion of affordable housing.

“It should also be noted that the site was identified for development in the Arundel Neighbourhood Plan 2, which was approved via a referendum in November 2019 with a majority of 80% of residents in favour.”

James Stewart, who chaired the Arundel Neighbourhood Plan Review 2019 Committee, said: “We recognised that Arundel needs new homes to fulfil its obligations under the Local Plan, especially much needed affordable homes.

“We carried out a thorough examination of several sites and concluded Ford Road was the most appropriate.

“This is an opportunity to meet our local housing needs with a high-quality development providing new public open spaces that will complement Arundel’s unique character.

“The scheme will also significantly reduce pressure on other sites in Arundel that are much less suitable for development.”

To see the outline planning application in full, search reference AB/135/20/OUT on Arun District Council’s planning website.