Final consultation on Adur housing future set to go live

Adur District Council cabinet member for regeneration Pat Beresford
Adur District Council cabinet member for regeneration Pat Beresford

A KEY document setting out the future of housing and employment in Adur is set for a final consultation later this month.

A six week consultation will begin on March 31 over amendments to the district’s local plan, subject to the approval of Adur District Council’s full council.

The plan – long in the making – primarily sets out the council’s vision for house building until 2031.

Councillor Pat Beresford, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Because there have been changes to parts of the plan because of the circumstances of particular developments, we now have to go through a re-consultation process.

“We are not asking people to start from scratch.”

The amendments to the plan were made after the initial document went out for consultation in late 2014.

Following comments received during the consultation, changes were made, which means the plan must again be subject to public representations.

It is hoped the plan will be subject to a public examination, chaired by a government inspector, in October – the final stage of the process.

The plan sets out a series of sites which are suitable for major housing development.

Among them are sites at New Monks Farm, in Lancing, land west of Sompting and Shoreham Harbour.

The New Monks Farm site was previously earmarked by developers for between 450 and 600 homes.

The amended plan fixes the number at 600. A new roundabout on the A27, to be built to serve the new development, has been moved to a more central location, between Shoreham Airport and the New Monks Farm site.

A maximum of 250 homes can be built prior to the roundabout becoming operational.

As a result, the Withy Patch traveller site will be relocated, though a new home has yet to be firmly identified.

Mr Beresford urged caution over the numbers, however, stating it would be some time before it was confirmed the site would accommodate the maximum 600 homes.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, he said: “We must always be very slightly cautious about these numbers because they are to be seen for what they are, which are estimates on the capability of the site.

“Until the developer gets into the numbers game of designing the site, bearing in mind they have got to allocate space for things like a school, until we get a planning application, only then will we know the actual figure.”

All local plans must include numerous pieces of evidence, with the Government setting each authority a theoretical target for housing delivery.

This figure, known as objectively assessed needs (OAN), is calculated using various demographic statistics and must be a starting point for a council in deciding if it can meet the requirement.

The latest target for Adur is 291 homes per annum, though a lack of suitable space means the authority is expected to fall short of the target.

The plan has included a figure of 180 homes per year, some 2,211 homes short.

Other clarifications in the plan have been included by council officers to provide explicit guidance to developers.

For the West Sompting site, a requirement for two youth football pitches and a financial contribution for an educational facility have been included.

At Shoreham Airport, hangers currently for aviation use will be protected – an amendment supported by the council’s economic development team.

Details of the consultation will be confirmed after the full council meeting. For more information, visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/adur-ldf/adur-local-plan