MP slams parish council response to housing plans

W41015H13 Tim Loughton MP
W41015H13 Tim Loughton MP

TIM Loughton has slammed Sompting Parish Councils’s response to the Draft Adur Local Plan, likening it to the work of Chinese state central planners.

“Effectively that means that if a family member wanted to move back to live in Sompting they couldn’t until someone else moved out,” wrote Mr Loughton. “Chinese state central planners would be proud of them.”

The man behind the document, Cllr David Bamber, has hit back at Mr Loughton, accusing him of deliberately misinterpreting technical terms used by Adur Council.

“The idea demonstrates quite clearly that he hasn’t done his homework and doesn’t understand the technical aspects of housing panning,” he said.

Mr Bamber said he had spent six days studying the 222-page plan and its supporting documents before drafting the parish council’s response, adding that the report made no suggestion of controlling the population of Adur.

Mr Loughton also accused the parish council of keeping residents in the dark about the need to engage with the consultation.

But Mr Loughton thanked the hundreds of Lancing and Sompting residents who responded to the consultation process with their concerns over what he called ‘a crazy level of overdevelopment’.

“We needed to make a strong case for why the confines of the sea and National Park make it impossible for us to take as many houses as other areas and the number of objections from residents helps reinforce that case,” wrote Mr Loughton, adding: “As always robust personal testimonies count for far more than just arbitrary signatures on a petition.”

He praised the work of Adur District Council, writing that it had ‘acted responsibly in a very difficult position’.

“It is not a case of Adur Council wanting to impose these extra houses and in any case it will not be down to them to build,” he wrote.

“Adur Council, like every other local authority of whatever political colour, is obliged to produce a development plan for the next 20 years which balances the need for more housing and employment opportunities locally with the need to make it sustainable and not undermine the quality of life we already enjoy.

“But simply doing nothing or pulling up the drawbridge was not an option, and nearby Mid Sussex Council has already had its own Local Plan rejected and risks having an even worse one imposed nationally.”