Detailed plans for 250 Pagham homes approved as concerns over flooding voiced

A developer’s plan to build 250 homes, an ambulance community response post, open spaces and either a school or a care home were approved on Wednesday (October 27).

Proposed layout of the Pagham development off Sefter Road
Proposed layout of the Pagham development off Sefter Road

Arun District Council’s planning committee approved developer Taylor Wimpey’s plans for the site north of Sefter Road, in Pagham, with conditions.

The development was approved in principle in 2019 but the committee heard further details such as the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale.

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Dwellings range in size from one-bed flats to four-bed houses with the whole development being served by 656 car parking spaces.

A scout hut is also planned as well as a central green, play area and a traffic-free, combined cycle and pedestrian route.

Number 80 Rose Green Road would be demolished and, if the planned school or care home do not come forward, up to 280 homes could be built instead.

Pagham Parish Council had several concerns surrounding parking, layout, narrow roads, flooding potentially affecting existing properties, and what it called the ‘overbearing’ height of properties not being ‘in-keeping’ with the village.

A statement from Aldwick Parish Council outlined concern over traffic along Pagham Road and potential flooding.

Pagham Parish Council also highlighted its concerns over a lack of parking for the proposed scout hut among others.

One member of the public objected to the plans, citing the delivery of highway improvements, connection to the sewer and a request for improved medical facilities to serve the development.

But several more had their say during the planning meeting last week.

Flooding seemed to be a main concern amongst objectors, including one nearby resident who said: “As with other local strategic sites, the area has a very high water table which is helpful for farming but which makes the area very prone to flooding of all types.

“These fields have provided the areas with natural drainage, essential for the system to work successfully – until now.

“If concrete and tarmac are placed over that natural drainage, the rain that does fall on to the development is likely to end up with the neighbours, who were there from the outset and did nothing to deserve being flooded.

“Where will the responsibility lie if my home – and those of others – suddenly start to flood?”

Another member of the public claimed that drainage plans would be ‘insufficient in periods of high rainfall’ and added that the site ‘regularly floods’.

Committee chairman Terrence Chapman (Con, East Preston) pointed out that some of these issues had been addressed when outline permission was granted and are required by condition if the development is to go forward.

But this did nothing to allay the fears of Hugh Coster (Ind, Aldwick East) who voiced concerns about both sewage facilities and flooding.

He was concerned that improvements planned by Southern Water may not be implemented in time, but officers assured him that a condition of the development would ensure no dwellings were inhabited before this happened.

Mr Coster said he was ‘not very happy’ that the lead flood authority had not commented on the development, saying: “It is locally called Sefter Lakes for a very good reason, because it is often flooded, every year, and this is a very significant problem in the area.

“People are extremely worried.”

But Mr Chapman urged Mr Coster to ‘stick to fact, not conjecture’, saying that the plans demonstrated adequate drainage and mitigation measures.

Officers added that drainage had been considered and secured by condition at the outline planning stage.

A representative of Taylor Wimpey said the developer was ‘delighted’ to obtain the site.

“Since then, we have remained committed to the delivery of this site and we wish to proceed with this exciting opportunity as soon as possible,” she said.

“We feel our proposals reflect a genuine understanding of what matters most to local people.

“And we appreciate the importance of providing a solution to a long-standing flooding issue on the site; this will be achieved through the implementation of our drainage design.”

The representative said that Taylor Wimpey had engaged with Pagham and Aldwick Advisory Group to discuss issues like this.

A previous reserved matters application (P/24/20/RES) was refused in June 2020 because it did not provide land for a school or a care home or meet the terms of outline planning permission.

But officers said most of the concerns had been addressed and their recommendation to approve the plans with conditions was accepted by the committee.

More details can be found at the Arun planning portal using reference: P/49/21/RES.