Controversial fence between new road and Littlehampton homes to be discussed

An acoustic fence right behind Littlehampton properties are set to be discussed by Arun district councillors this week.

Developer Persimmon is building the Fitzalan Link Road, which will eventually join up with the new Lyminster bypass at the A259.

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They want to see the height of the acoustic fence reduced from 3.5m to 2.5m.

The posts for the new acoustic fence behind Highdown Drive properties

Arun District Council’s development control committee is set to discuss the situation today (Tuesday May 18).

An officers’ report notes that permission for the fence was granted by the committee in October 2017.

It invites the committee to consider whether they wish to investigate options around amending or withdrawing the permissions granted and commission an independent report to undertake a review of the previous decisions and to provide advice on possible actions available to the council.

West Sussex County Council sought a speed limit of 40mph for the new road and requested a fence design to reflect this.

The report adds: “The applicant is currently implementing their planning permissions in accordance with the approved details. The council does not have any evidence that works being carried out are not in accordance with the planning permissions granted and there is no unlawful activity taking place on the site.

“Following a number of complaints, the council has approached the applicant (Persimmon Homes) to request that work on site is paused and to find out if any changes to the fence are possible. They have confirmed that they have been through a lengthy planning process with legal and technical documents and that financial commitment have been made regarding the fence and its erection. They do not consider that a 2.5m high fence will have the desired noise mitigating results.

“There has been a lot of reference to a 2.5m high fence in recent correspondence but it is unclear where a 2.5m suggestion has come from as it was never within any application submissions.

“It is unclear where many residents have the impression that a 2.5m high fence was to be erected because all detailed permissions have been for a 3.5m high fence.”

Following the complaints about the barrier, Persimmon has stated that it instructed consultants to undertake a review of the noise assessment data and to review the noise model.

In their report officers said: “They conclude that the impact of reducing the height of the acoustic fence to 2.5m results in an increase in noise levels. And, even if the road was re-designed to be compliant for a 30mph speed limit, this would not achieve sufficient noise reduction to make a 2.5m acoustic fence an acceptable noise mitigation solution.

“It should be noted that the council has not been provided with a copy of this technical work to comment upon.”