Plans go ahead for 91 houses in Littlehampton

DEVELOPERS have been given permission to build 91 homes next to a busy Littlehampton road in spite of a councillor warning it was “crazy” to construct another junction there.

Arun councillors reluctantly approved the outline plans for the Windroos site next to The Body Shop headquarters on the A259 Worthing Road.

They had deferred their decision on the proposals in November, calling for consultants to analyse documents submitted by the developers, assessing the impact the new estate would have on traffic in the area.

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But when the consultants’ report was presented at last week’s development control committee, it broadly supported the original documents, with some minor changes, and concluded there would be no adverse effect on the highway network.

Crucially, the report said that further investigation had revealed it was likely the new estate would generate less traffic than when the haulage business currently based at Windroos was operating at peak periods.

Councillor Ricky Bower, who is also Arun’s cabinet member for planning, said he “deeply regretted” that the committee had no planning grounds for objecting to the additional access onto Worthing Road.

Speaking at the November meeting, Mr Bower criticised county council highway officials for raising no objection.

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He said: “Yet again, I’m in despair as far as West Sussex County Council highways is concerned.

“An exit/access onto the A259 is a crazy notion, given that it’s so near to The Body Shop roundabout.”

At last week’s meeting, Mr Bower again pointed out that access to the housing scheme was originally intended to be through the site on which the Eden Park/Elysian Fields development has been built, sharing the same access road.

However, a “ransom strip” of land was retained by the Elysian Fields developers, who were refusing to allow a through road to be built linking up with the Windroos site.

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Littlehampton River ward councillor Mark Butler told last week’s meeting he was also disappointed by the consultants’ findings.

He said: “We made a concerted effort for this to be dealt with in a way that would provide a new access.

“However, I am not surprised an independent consultant has come back and said everything it tickety-boo.

“I look forward to coming back here in a few years’ time, when everything is snarled up in that area, and saying ‘I told you so’.”

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The consultants said the new access for the housing development at Windroos would be an improvement over the “poor” junction at the same point currently used by the haulage business.

Although viewing the outline planning application favourably, the consultants called for a residential travel plan to be drawn up, enabling the future residents to be able to make “informed and sustainable choices in the way they travel”.

They also suggested that proper attention should be given to laying out parking areas within the new development.

The committee imposed further conditions on the outline planning permission requiring the travel plan and parking measures, and agreed to extend from three to five years the time developers have to submit detailed plans, given the current depressed housing market.

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