More money needed to fight Arun planning appeals

The cost to the Arun taxpayer of fighting unwanted or unsuitable development could be about to go up.

Arun councillors are being asked to approvean extra £100,000 to fight unwanted or unsuitable developments.

The money is being requested by the planning department after the council refused a number of applications and the developers appealed.

This leaves ADC with no option but to fight the appeals or concede and risk the developments going ahead.

Rustington Golf Centre

A report to the council’s Policy and Finance Committee, which will meet on Thursday (30 June), outlines the difficult situation.

It reads: “Normally, the council may get one appeal to be heard by way of inquiry every one to two years. There are currently four planning appeals to be heard by way of public inquiry that have all been submitted in the space of a few months.”

The money would be used to fight appeals at: retirement apartments at Chandlers, Angmering (A/1101/21/PL); 191 homes at Rustington Golf Centre (A/129/21/PL); 76 homes east of Worthing Road, Angmering (A/168/21/PL); and 106 homes west of Pagham Road (P/178/21/OUT).

Costs are also due to a developer after it won permission to build 46 homes along Shripney Road (BE/109/19/OUT).

Further technical work to explore shortening the Fitzalan link road acoustic barrier would also be funded.

ADC is in a difficult situation as it has failed housing delivery targets set by government.

This means it must approve developments that are ‘sustainable’ or face lengthy, costly appeals from developers – something that is increasingly happening and is putting pressure on the planning department’s budget.

“We are only a few months into the 2022/2023 financial year and it is obvious that this budget will be significantly exceeded this year due to the appeal costs,” said planning officers.

The alternative would be to keep the budget as is and either drop the appeals or task planning officers with fighting them anyway – something that would divert resources.

Expected costs for each appeal are as follows:

Shripney Road – £20,000- £30,000

Chandlers, Angmering – £25,000

Littlehampton Road/ Worthing Road – £30,000

Rustington Golf Centre – £20,000 – £30,000

Pagham Road – £20,000 – £30,000.