SussexWorld housing campaign: Angmering councillors to hold developers to account despite ‘sense of rising despair’

“Angmering is tired of being built on and having its countryside sold for more executive houses.”

Angmering Parish Council (APC) has joined a campaign, urging those in power to ‘act on unsustainable housing targets’ and ‘protect our beautiful green spaces’. SussexWorld – which comprises JPIMedia’s Sussex newspaper titles – wrote to all the county’s MPs and local councils, seeking support for our campaign, which launched in March.

The campaign calls for stronger protection for our greenfield sites and greater powers for councils to determine their own housing needs and annual targets.

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The parish council said if Angmering ‘must have more building’, it ‘deserves high quality homes’ that are affordable for families, and investment in infrastructure to make developments ‘truly sustainable’.

Angmering Parish Council chairman Nikki Hamilton-Street, centre, pictured with vice-chairman Alison Reigate and chairman of the planning committee, John Oldfield. Photo: Steve Robards

Chairman Nikki Hamilton-Street said the council will continue to hold developers to account and ‘look towards sustainable developments’, despite a ‘sense of rising despair’.

She added: “Since the 1930’s, the village has had pockets of new homes built – east and west of Arundel Road, the Dell, south of the A259 and Bramley Green, welcoming many new residents.

“Arun District Council’s Local Plan adopted in 2018 saw Angmering receive a number of strategic sites, they alone have already increased the village by 25 per cent.

“Two thirds of the parish lies within the South Downs National Park which therefore affords protection against inappropriate development.

The parish council said if Angmering ‘must have more building’, it ‘deserves high quality homes’ that are affordable for families. Photo: Steve Robards

“But what protection is there for anything south of the A27? The National Planning Policy Framework, the Arun Local Plan, and the Angmering Neighbourhood Plan should all hold weight in planning decisions. However, the government’s targets for planning authorities to have a five-year land supply, appears to top trump sustainable developments, which would enhance communities, rather than destroying them. That is where our problem in Angmering lies.”

Arun District Council currently has a 2.4 year housing land supply.

“Therefore opening the door to developers, offering land owners the opportunity to develop their land, knowing that even if their application is refused it has a high chance of being overturned at appeal,” councillor Hamilton-Street added.

“That doesn’t address the fact that prime agricultural land, is being put forward for housing. Surely the current war in Ukraine clearly shows that as the biggest exporters of wheat, there will be a shortage?”

Nikki Hamilton-Street, centre, said the council will continue to hold developers to account and ‘look towards sustainable developments’, despite a ‘sense of rising despair’. Photo: Steve Robards

The parish council called for better infrastructure to be in place before building works begin. It also wants ‘clear linked strategies’ that recognise the impact developments will have on the local road networks and ‘in the wider areas’.

The council has also called for better community facilities, including small shops.

It added: “Fundamentally as a country we need to start importing less and producing more ourselves.

“Angmering experiences flooding, there is evidence to demonstrate the importance of farming's role in preventing flooding. We can’t do any of this if our farmland becomes housing.”

Angmering Parish Council said it worked with four other local parishes (Rustington, East Preston, Ferring and Kingston) to put together 'robust objections' to 76 houses for Land South of Littlehampton Road and to 191 houses proposed for Land at Rustington Golf Centre.

"We were pleased to see the applications refused by Arun [District Council], a parish council spokesperson said.

The two applications have now been re-submitted:

- A/50/22/PL – Erection of 76 No. dwellings, means of access, public open space, play areas, associated infrastructure & landscaping - Land South of Littlehampton Road

- A/45/22/PL – Erection of 167 No new homes in a mix of 1-4 bedroom properties (2-4 bedroom homes and 1 bedroom apartments) - Land at Rustington Golf Centre

The parish council spokesperson added: "APC are due to discuss these two new applications at a planning and infrastructure meeting on April 19 at 7.30 pm at the Angmering Village Hall.

"We would welcome people to attend this meeting but also to register their comments on the ADC portal.

"A leaflet was recently put together by APC and delivered to all houses in Angmering. It was entitled Find your Voice and is available from our office in Angmering or on our website."