Adoption of Worthing Local Plan delayed due to 'error'

Adoption of Worthing’s development masterplan has been delayed by an ‘error’.
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Worthing Borough Council had been due to adopt its ‘Local Plan’ which sets out how 3,600 new homes, 24,000 square metres of employment space, and 9,200 square metres of commercial space will be delivered up to 2036.

It has taken several years, various evidence studies, and reviews by the Planning Inspectorate to get to this stage and it was thought that the document was ready for approval.

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But during a full council meeting on Tuesday (13 December), councillors heard that there would be a delay.

Aerial view of Worthing boroughAerial view of Worthing borough
Aerial view of Worthing borough

Mayor Henna Chowdhury said: “Consideration of the Worthing Local Plan is to be deferred to an alternative date. The council has become aware of an inaccuracy in the supporting information to the Worthing Local Plan which requires consideration.

“At this stage, I’m unable to provide you with further detail. The information is deemed exempt as it relates to the business and financial affairs of the council. As the Local Plan is a very important document, we are pausing the process while we consider this issue to ensure we get it right.”

Without an updated plan, the council is at risk of being forced to accept developments it may not otherwise approve, especially because it failed to meet government housing targets at the beginning of the year. This would mean less local input into planning decisions.

The next opportunity to adopt the updated plan may be in January. Once adopted, it will replace the 2003 Local Plan and policies made in 2011.