Development off A259 between Rustington and Angmering is approved

Proposed layout of the homes just off the A259Proposed layout of the homes just off the A259
Proposed layout of the homes just off the A259
Details for 90 homes between Rustington and Angmering have been delegated for approval, four years after the original plans were first submitted.

Arun district councillors discussed a reserved matters application at a planning meeting on Wednesday (October 27).

The site, to the west of Brook Lane and south of the A259, is currently home to a detached house and stables.

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Store Property Investments Limited previously had its outline plans refused by the council’s development control committee but won on appeal in 2018.

This gave the developer permission to go ahead with the development, with conditions.

Since then, the layout, scale, style and landscaping of the development have been submitted and these aspects were scrutinised by planning committee members.

Plans include 90 homes, a 72 bed care home, a railway crossing, parking, access and landscaping.

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Updated plans also show the footpath and cycle route which pass through the site, in a different location – it now falls within land under the developer’s control to satisfy a request by the highways authority, West Sussex County Council.

‘Harsh’ appearance

The committee discussed the merits of the reserved matters application with some scepticism over the appearance of the houses.

Billy Blanchard-Cooper (LDem, Brookfield) said the design made the development look like ‘a place where you might put a load of prisoners’.

This was echoed by David Edwards (Con, Felpham East) who said proposed acoustic fencing to mitigate railway noise made it ‘even more like a prison’.

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Mr Blanchard-Cooper asked council officers if they could discuss a ‘softer’ appearance with the developer to make the homes ‘more desirable for residents’.

Will Tilbrook (LDem, Rustington West) said he was ‘broadly supportive’ of the plans and approved of the housing mix. 

Just over 30 per cent would be affordable but Mr Tilbrook highlighted that the affordable provision was located to one edge of the site.

He commented: “I thought it was better practice to try and mix it in – because it does sometimes carry a stigma to it.”

Facilities for vulnerable and disabled residents

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Mr Blanchard- Cooper also highlighted the issue of disabled parking for visitors, saying: “I have to say that there seems to be a reasonable amount of parking for once, which is wonderful to see.

“However, there is a distinct lack of disabled bays so if you’ve got someone visiting that area, it could be quite problematic.

“We are supposed to be making a good effort to make sure that everyone is accommodated.”

But council officers said there was no policy for disabled visitor parking spaces.

Parish councils’ concerns

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Mr Edwards questioned the proposed location for a care home, saying: “Why on earth would you put people who are at risk of just wandering around between a railway line and the main road of a dual carriageway; it’s just bizarre.”

This concern was also held by Angmering Parish Council which called for ‘safeguarding measures’ to be put in place.

The parish council objected to the detailed plans citing ‘poor’ pedestrian access to the site and the railway via Mill Lane and Penfold Lane.

Rustington Parish Council also objected, citing the lack of a travel plan and concerns over Penfold Lane being ‘in a poor state of repair’.

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Officers said some of these concerns had since been addressed or were not relevant at this stage of the planning process.

Sewage capacity

Hugh Coster (Ind, Aldwick East) wanted reassurances that a mains sewer connection would take place before houses are inhabited.

He said: “Southern Water make no objection, but what they don’t say is that there is going to be a mains connection before any of this is occupied.”

Officers said that this was a condition of the development decided at the appeal stage.

Environmental questions

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Green councillor Isabel Thurston (Barnham) wanted to know when a construction and environmental management plan might be submitted – a condition imposed on the developer by the planning inspector.

She also said that it ‘seemed strange’ that there was no statement on sustainable energy for the site and asked if this was because it pre-dated current council and national planning policies.

Council officers said that the planning inspectorate did not deem it reasonable to impose sustainable energy measures at the time of outline permission, something Ms Thurston labelled as ‘unbelievable’.

Officers said they were unsure when a construction and environmental management plan would be submitted.

More details on the plans can be found at the Arun planning portal using reference: A/26/21/RES.