Council says more planning hearings are possible

Adur District Council said there could be more hearings of the local plan inquiry after concerns about the transparency of decision-making.

An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore. SUS-170123-121542001
An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore. SUS-170123-121542001

The final public hearing of the Government inquiry into the Adur Local Plan took place on Wednesday.

The two-week long examination covered topics such as flooding, preserving green spaces and traffic.

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A particularly contentious part of the plan was the New Monks Farm site. The Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Sussex Wildlife Trust were concerned that the boundary of the site would not leave enough land undeveloped.

The planning inspector asked the council to look at alternatives for the boundary – but the two charities were concerned that any changes could be approved behind closed doors.

A council spokesman said if the plan was amended, it would ‘generally [be] consulted on over a six week period’ so interested parties already involved in the process ‘will have the opportunity to comment further’.

He added that the public examination will not end until the inspector issues his final report, so more hearings could happen where ‘warranted’ and there was a ‘significant degree of transparency’ in the process.

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