D-day for the Adur Local Plan is looming – with experts warning a U-turn at this stage could see local planners lose control over where the homes and offices of the future are built. Adur District Council has been working on the document, which will guide development in the Local Plan area until 2032, for a number of years.
Unlike many other authorities locally and nationally, Adur’s plan has been supported by a Government-appointed Inspector – who said, despite the plan not fully meeting housing demand in the area, “the Council’s approach is justified and in all other respects sound” due to “significant constraints of building” in an area buffered by the sea and the South Downs.
The blueprint is due to be discussed and ratified at a meeting of Adur Full Council on December 14.
Given it has been examined and backed by the nationally-appointed Inspector, planners warn further changes at this time – such as excluding specific development sites – are not technically possible.
James Appleton, Adur & Worthing Councils’ Head of Planning and Development, said: “This has been an extremely detailed process involving the input of hundreds of people across the Adur District. The result is a document which is legally sound and supported by the nationally-appointed Planning Inspector for successfully balancing growth while protecting the local environment. Some believe that if the Council does not approve the document at this stage, it will mean further development can be halted; that is not correct.
“The fact is with no Local Plan, there is a real danger that the Council loses control over the planning process. This will not only give developers more freedom to build what and where they like; but also risk the government stepping in to decide where the homes and work space of the future go.”
Key headlines in the document include:
- Delivering a minimum of 3,718 properties up until 2032 – more than half the housing need of 6,825
- Delivering a minimum of 41,000 square metres of commercial space across three main sites – Shoreham Airport, Shoreham Harbour and New Monks Farm
- All developments of ten or more homes required to provide 30% affordable housing
- preserving a “local green gap” to ensure individual settlements like Shoreham and Lancing retain their individual identities
- Inclusion of New Monks Farm in Lancing, Shoreham Harbour Western Arm and land at West Sompting as areas to be redeveloped.
Adur District Council began work on the document several years ago. The result is a blueprint which covers all the district except those parts which are in the South Downs National Park.
As is consistent with emerging government policy, the Plan will be reviewed within five years.