Developer’s access changes for new Walberton housing estate are rejected

A developer’s request to turn its emergency access for 175 homes into a main access route has been refused.

Current access to Avisford Grange off Yapton Lane (Google Maps Street View)
Current access to Avisford Grange off Yapton Lane (Google Maps Street View)

Vistry Homes already has permission for the Walberton development called Avisford Grange, with construction already underway.

But the developer wants to change its main access from Yapton Lane to Tye Lane due to the possible route of an Arundel Bypass.

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The application was considered by Arun District Council’s planning committee back in October, but was deferred so members could receive more information about traffic movements and be assured that reducing the width of Tye Lane to accommodate a pavement would not impact the free flow of traffic.

However when it came back to committee on Wednesday (November 24), members decided to refuse permission.

Vistry Homes previously claimed that, due to the uncertainty, ‘all activity on site had stopped’ between October 2020 and June 2021.

At October’s meeting, a representative said that should the application be approved, it could immediately recommence construction.

The main concern was the impact of increasing the level of traffic in Tye Lane and The Street.

In between meetings Walberton Parish Council has sought legal advice and this was set out in a further objection.

Hugh Coster (Ind, Aldwick East) predicted ‘mayhem’ in The Street if the application was approved.

He added: “This is going to cause damage to Walberton with no public benefit.”

Meanwhile Isabel Thurston (Green, Barnham) called the application ‘unnecessary’ and suggested the developer hold out for compensation from National Highways for homes it cannot sell.

She added: “Bring this back when the route is decided.”

Officers cautioned against refusal, suggesting the changes would mean only 31 extra two-way movements in the morning peak and 39 in the afternoon/evening peak along The Street.

Ultimately members disagreed with this advice and refused the application.

David Edwards (Con, Felpham East) asked what the point was of having criteria ‘if we are not going to work to them’.

He suggested the area around the primary school was often very busy, with the application only going to ‘make it worse’.