£67,000 added to A29 realignment budget for Barnham work as planning deadline approaches

West Sussex County Council has until the end of June to start phase 1 of the A29 realignment scheme or risk losing planning permission.
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Permission to build a 1.3km stretch of road linking Fontwell Avenue (A29) with Barnham Road (B2233) was given on June 29, 2021, and was valid for three years.

Part of the work involves the demolition of the former Fleurie Nursery Greenhouses, in Barnham, which sits on land owned by CC Projects (CCP).

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It has taken 18 months for the council and CCP to work up a legal agreement covering the scope of the work – and in that time, the cost of the work has increased and the expiry date for the planning permission has crept closer.

Both phases of the A29 realignment scheme. Image: West Sussex County CouncilBoth phases of the A29 realignment scheme. Image: West Sussex County Council
Both phases of the A29 realignment scheme. Image: West Sussex County Council

On Tuesday (February 20), Matt Davey, assistant director for highways, transport & planning, published a decision allowing £67,000 to be added to the budget for the demolition work and the disconnection of utilities, taking it to £557,000.

A report to Mr Davey said: “It is now urgent that [the council] completes the licences and the demolition commences in March.”

The licence requires CCP to fully reimburse the council for the cost of the demolition.

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A council spokesman said: “We are confident that the demolition works described in the decision report will start within the allotted planning permission period and we are working closely with our contractor and the landowner to enable that to happen.”

The full A29 realignment scheme will see a 4.34km road built to the east of Eastergate, Westergate and Woodgate villages.

The aim is to provide a more reliable connection to Bognor Regis, reduce traffic along the existing A29, especially at the Woodgate level crossing and the War Memorial junction, and allow access to new homes allocated in Arun District Council’s Local Plan.

It will be delivered in two phases – the first running from the A29 south of Eastergate Lane to a new junction with Barnham Road, and the second running from Barnham Road to a new junction on the A29 south of Lidsey bends.