Neighbourhood plan for Barnham and Eastergate finally made after threat of legal challenge is dropped

Thursday, 10 March 2022 20:56

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

A neighbourhood plan for part of the Arun district has now been approved after a developer withdrew its legal challenge.

The updated neighbourhood plan for Barnham and Eastergate – which will guide development in the area until 2031 – was due to be ‘made’ or adopted in January but this was delayed by a legal challenge.

Arun District Council was finally able to approve the plan on Wednesday (March 9) after developer Gleeson Strategic Land Limited agreed not to file for a judicial review.

The plan was presented as an urgent item at the full council meeting to prevent further delay.

Planning policy committee chair Ricky Bower (Con, East Preston) said it was ‘regrettable’ that the plan could not be adopted in January.

But ward councillor Isabel Thurston (Green, Barnham) expressed ‘relief’ at the decision. “I just wanted to pass on the thanks of Barnham and Eastergate,” she said. “We’re all extremely relieved that this can finally be accepted.”

A total of 117 homes across three different sites are included in the updated plan which can be seen here:

Gleeson Strategic Land Limited previously told the council that it would file for a judicial review if the plan was approved because it did not include its application to build 200 homes south of Barnham’s railway station.

ADC previously rejected the plans but the developer lodged a successful appeal over the scheme. Neighbourhood plans aim to ‘give communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area’.  This allows them to have input in where new homes, shops and offices will be built and what the buildings should look like.

Residents, town councils, and parish councils are consulted as part of the process and the neighbourhood plan is usually aligned with a local plan – in this case the Arun Local Plan – which sets out the needs and priorities of the wider area.

Any planning decisions for Barnham and Eastergate must now be made in line with the neighbourhood plan – with some exceptions.

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