THERE is a lot going on across Adur at the moment. Some of it exciting like the investment in Shoreham’s iconic new bridge, some of it concerning like some of the more ambitious figures for house building in the Adur draft local plan which has just opened for consultation.
There are also plans still to be given approval for Brighton & Hove’s new training ground behind Mash Barn in Lancing, which represents an important Lancing regeneration opportunity for some, but is not without practical obstacles for others living closer by. Whilst in Shoreham, I share the concerns of many about becoming ‘supermarket city.’
Over the last 16 years, I have campaigned against many sites across the constituency where I think that a proposed development is excessive or unsustainable. Common to all of them has been the inadequacy of existing infrastructure where schools are creaking or main roads ever more congested.
That pressure on our local infrastructure is greater than ever today and it is vital that any plans taken forward are seen in the context of the need to make sure that the quality of life is not diminished for those already living in our beautiful corner of Sussex, or for those looking to come here.
It is also vital that these draft plans are treated as just that – draft, and that every local resident engages with the consultation process and feels that they are being listened to seriously.
I have also been in favour of a stronger voice in local planning by local people and that is what the Government’s localism reforms needs to be about in practice.
I will do my bit to help facilitate whatever dialogue I can between residents, councillors, developers and officials and I have always been keen to organise public meetings and the like in previous cases without pre-judging everything. But that can only be effective if constituents do their bit too and engage constructively rather than rely on others and miss the opportunity.
We have a lot of work to do, so it is just as well I no longer have a ministerial diary to worry about.
Tim Loughton MP
Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham