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DRAFT LOCAL PLAN HEAVILY CRITICISED FOR PUTTING HOUSING BEFORE ATTENTION TO FLOODING, INFRASTRUCTURE AND JOBS

At a packed August meeting of the Bognor Regis Civic Society angry residents called on Arun District Council to exercise its duty of care towards local people and take action to deal with the causes of recent catastrophic flooding before any more housing is built.

Residents recounted how their homes and businesses had been damaged, and blamed water run-off from recently built housing at Bersted for some of the problems.   A letter from Councillor Ricky Bower, Arun's Cabinet Member for Planning was read out confirming that the Site 6 drainage had coped with the "unprecedented rainfall" but that the problems had been caused by older drainage systems.

"This is exactly what residents predicted before planning was granted for site 6," said Hugh Coster, Civic Society Deputy Chairman. "when they said that run-off from new development would overload older systems downline.  Arun failed to listen to them then, and it is vital for them to listen now and take action to solve flooding problems before any more development takes place."

The meeting voted unanimously that Arun's Draft Local Plan should be amended to include specific plans to deal with all the flooding problems that have recently occurred and that a moratorium should be placed on all new development until the work had been completed.

In a further unanimous vote, and in a bid to prevent the congestion and pollution problems of excessive out-commuting, the meeting called for the same moratorium to continue until thousands of new jobs had been created in the area to serve the existing population.

"Building new homes only makes the current problems worse," said Hugh Coster, "and is clearly unsustainable in anyone's language. And if Arun feels it is bound by the housing demands of the government, we expect them to be vigorously defending their own residents by resisting this at the highest levels."

August 2012

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