Saturday, 30 April 2016

PR Own goal?

Arun is only 11% of your bill.
You would have all received your Council tax bills, maybe you were surprised by Aruns headline increase of 3.1%. When I had mentioned it was going to be 1.95% in previous columns,

The explanation behind this was that the government at the last minute allowed Arun to increase band D by up to £5 per year which is higher than 1.95%, because there is a larger number of Band D properties this has fed through to the headline figure for all other bands.

Arun’s share of the Council tax basket is about 11% of your overall bill, for that you get all the services Arun provides, there too numerous to mention, but the headlines ones are Bin collection,Street cleaning, Planning, Greenspaces, licensing of pubs & taxi’s, Band D in Arundel is £1626.86, so for just over £180 a year you get those services, but on reflection I think it was a mistake, it’s a PR own goal and in relative terms has raised only about £100k, against a budget of approximately £23m.

But also included in your Council tax was another new charge, The County Council has been allowed to charge for Social care, but instead of rolling it up in their headline figure they have separated it out, so this is a new charge and most people haven't noticed it. Personally I fully agree with this charge, we don’t pay careers enough and it’s a bit of a Cinderella service, with the issues of Dementia we need to invest a lot more in these services.

The government seems to have got themselves into hot water on the £9m information leaflet about the Referendum, I am still not decided, but why oh why didn’t they get the Office of Budget responsibility to write to the electorate, it appears like Gerrymandering, although in the governments defence they have recommended the negotiated deal and is pushing the case to stay, but the British People have a instinct for fair play and it seems unfair to use the governments money & machine to argue the case. Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Ward and Cabinet member on Arun District Council, web address www.pauldendle.ord. email Cllr.Paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk other ward Councillors for the Arundel Walberton ward who represent you on Arun DC are Norman Dingemans and Robert Wheal.

Friday, 11 March 2016

EU or not

Before I went into local politics I had a fairly jaundiced view of Councils and their apparent inability to get things moving, Only when I became a Councillor did I understand the frustrations of Officers and the system they have to make work, In business if you want to purchase something you pick up the phone and discuss the price, you haggle and then you place the order with your chosen supplier. In Government if you spend anything over 50,000 euros then you have to go through complicated EU procurement rules which means you have complicated procurement documents which have to receive three tenders from three different suppliers and you then have to have a chosen methodology to make the purchase decision.

s I write this I am undecided, I am worried if we leave we will trigger a mini recession whilst everyone runs around like headless chickens. Many on the leave campaign argue that we could leave the EU, but stay in the single market which is attractive, but I don’t think many people have considered the point that if we are still part of the single Market then we have to accept the free movement of labour, so why leave if immigration is your chief concern?

I mentioned this to one of the many lobbyists that contacted me as a Councillor. If we turned our back on the single market then this represents over 50% of our trade, but as we buy more from them than sell to them will we be given some special accommodation? interestingly There is one country that has access to the single market, but is not in the single market and that's Canada, So maybe an option?

I have no problem with migrants coming to the UK as long as they work, pay tax, speak English and integrate, I believe most people in the UK share that view. The British have a long tradition of welcoming people in need to our shores, But uncontrolled immigration is causing considerable tensions and although the PM’s negotiated package is not perfect it may be our best option. I hope we will have a well informed debate and make the right decision whatever that is? To next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton and Cabinet member on Arun District Council. Web www.pauldendle.org. Email Cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.ukThe reason I mention this is that we will sooner or later have to make a decision regarding staying in the EU, A

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Where’s our 20Mph zones?

Arundels 20Mph zones?.
For the last couple of years I have been telling you about the two large 20Mph zones that were to be created in Arundel Old Town and Arundel New town.

We were promised by number different officers at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) that the zones would be implemented by August 2015 under what is called a TRO (Traffic Regulation order).

Recently WSCC has stopped sending representatives to Arundel town council’s traffic committee, I made representations to the Cabinet Member that they should send someone to update and to their credit they sent one of their senior officers.

So imagine my surprise when I questioned him regarding the date for the implementation of the zones and he stated that were no plans for 20Mph zones.
I took the opportunity to raise the issue at the Joint Downland Area committee (JDAC) just before Christmas,   WSCC said that they were reviewing all plans for TRO’s (Traffic Regulation order) and they could not confirm that anything would be done.

I reacted badly to this lambasting the County Councillors present for the failure of WSCC to keep their promise; I raised the question that if they couldn’t provide 20Mph zones then what were they there for? 

I believe this raises some fundamental questions of how local government is organised in West Sussex, We have three layers of local government, we have the county council which is an old legacy organisation, because of the financial pressures they are hollowing out WSCC, keeping expensive assets like buildings whilst getting rid of front line officers. Which impacts on services and public satisfaction, the net result are things like a fairly inexpensive 20mph zones are sacrificed.

We have the District Council and we have the Town Council,  I believe we need to scrap Districts and the County Council and create small unitary authorities along the lines of Hampshire and Berkshire, we would cut the number of Officers, Councillors and buildings,  making the new organisations more cost effective and relevant.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The chancellor in his Autumn statement has cut local government funding over the next 5 years by 24%, As Councillors we have been preparing for bad news and we estimate that Arun will have a deficit of £5m by 2020 unless we make savings.

We are looking to either outsource or share many of our in-house corporate services to save money,

On the Leisure contract which is my responsibility as Cabinet Portfolio holder, instead of spending £560k a year we are to receive a payment from the new contractor (Freedom Leisure) of £500k+ so we will be over £1m better off,

On the Cleansing contract, also my responsibility,We opted of not to cut the weekly refuse service, but instead we are looking to go out on a short term contract from 2017 (up to 4 years) which we expect will give us savings on the current contract.

But despite all these savings we don't think it will cover all the £5M deficit, so we are looking to increase parking charges, many of the charges haven't gone up since 2010 and some since 2005, the increase we are proposing averages out at 10.4% which makes up almost exactly for the inflation since 2010. In Arundel the increase will be less than that and only for the Crown Yard car park, The Lido Car Park is different as all the profits for the Lido car park go to the Arundel Lido Trust and they decide the increases.

Council tax will have to rise for the first time since 2010, the exact figure hasn't yet been decided, but I expect it to be less than 2%.

Arun will also try and boost earnings by starting it's own company to purchase and develop assets, this should bring in a profit on some activities to offset spending,

Overall we think Arun will be a leaner more customer fronted organisation doing more for less, a difficult message to convey,

Until next Month

Paul Dendle. Is Arundel and Walberton Councillor and Cabinet Member for Leisure and Amenities, his email address is cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk and web address is www.pauldendle.org 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Local Plan Saga continues

Shared Ownership.
An up date on Aruns local plan, the plan has been put on ice by the planning inspector (from The planning Inspectorate) for up to 18 months, leaving the District exposed to Planning by appeal, where Developers apply for permission, the Council rejects it and they go to the same Planning Inspectorate on appeal inevitably winning because there is no local plan in place, (its a farce and makes a mockery of localism)

It's a game that many Councils across the country are loosing due to the chips being stacked against them, the latest needs assessment says Arun needs 764 houses per year, but this is not for our Indigenous population, but for purchasers who are coming from London and other wealthier areas who are attracted by the areas lower prices and better quality of life,

How do we counter this obvious unfairness, I personally think we need a massive programme of building shared ownership property targeting our young people and getting them on the housing ladder, purchasers only need to buy 25% of the property which locally means anywhere between £40-50,000, they rent the other share at a subsidised rent, this would make up our numbers and because the houses/flats would be a higher density would negate the need to build larger family houses which developers prefer with the space that's expected, it would solve the housing need and help to limit the housing foot print, if we could build these homes with higher eco standards, eg with solar panels engineered in the design then we would help the environment and help new buyers with lower energy costs,
Until next month

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member for Leisure & Amenities. Email: cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk  

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Arundel by Candlelight Saturday 5th December Programme Announced

    The Arundel Chamber of Commerce has announced details of Arundel by Candlelight celebrations

The programme has now been confirmed for this year’s Arundel by Candlelight on Saturday 5 December from midday to 7pm. Organised by Arundel Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event would not have been possible without the very kind sponsorship from local firm Pegasus Properties, market-leading estate agents in West Sussex and Hampshire, and also Arundel Town Council.

The entertainment schedule has been organised by Sharon Blaikie from the Landon Sounds Events Studios, on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. Sharon says "Arundel by Candlelight will once again deliver an enchanting day, full of fun and festive cheer; an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate a memorable day in the run up to Christmas. The event provides people with a great opportunity to ‘shop local’ for presents and support their high street on ‘Small Business Saturday’. This year over 20 local organisations are involved and we hope this collaboration and co-operation is really helping build community spirit throughout the town. ”.

The day will start at midday on the High Street with the Chichester Young Farmers Club recreating a 'Live Nativity' scene with costumes and a parade through the town, ending at their pop-up stable destination next to the Museum, where they will be raising money for Chestnut Tree House. Also in the parade will be ‘The Top Bananas’, an energetic and eccentric quartet on stilts. Father Christmas will also join them, with his little helpers and elves on his way to his grotto at Arundel Museum, where he will be welcoming children between 12.30 and 5.00pm. His presents this year are sponsored by the King’s Arms and Fanny Adams Boutique.

At 1.00pm in the Town Square there will be an Ecumenical Carol Service led by the three churches (Arundel Baptist Church, the Parish & Priory Church of St Nicholas, and Arundel Cathedral) with singing supported by Arun Choral Society. The Rock Choir and InChoir will also provide further entertainment later in the day.

This year sees the return of the popular Lantern Parade, which will descend the High Street at 4.30pm. Lantern workshops for children will be from 12.30 to 3.30pm in the Norfolk Arms, alternatively buy a lantern from the stall in Crown Yard. In addition ‘WOW! Creative Coaching Enterprises’ are working with local schools to develop ‘Nativity Scene Light Boxes’, which will be exhibited at the Victoria Institute. Competitions for the best ‘Nativity Scene Light Box’, best Lantern and best handmade Christmas Card, will all be judged between 3.00-4.00pm and the winners announced at 4.00pm.

At 4.45pm on the High Street the Chairman of Arundel Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Arundel & District Rotary Club and the Mayor of Arundel will welcome everyone to the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. The magnificent tree has once again been kindly provided by the Norfolk Estate and the lights will be officially switched on by Her Grace the Duchess of Norfolk.

The Rotary Club of Arundel will be selling mistletoe and holly to raise funds for their chosen charities. Other local community groups involved this year include The Victoria Institute on Tarrant Street who will be hosting Arundel Youth Theatre. Also Arundel Open Studios will be presenting “13 Artists in Winter” with studios on Tarrant Street and King’s Arms Hill open for 3 weekends on the 28th/29th Nov, 5th/6th Dec and 12th/13th Dec. In conjunction with Arundel Fairtrade Town Group there will be a selection of stalls on Tarrant Street selling ethically sourced and fairly-traded items.

Crown Yard will feature a larger selection of vintage fairground rides this year, including a helter-skelter and 50 foot big wheel. It will also host one of the town’s “Wish & Memory” Christmas Trees, where people can leave their Christmas wishes and memories of loved ones; other trees will be based around the town and confirmed nearer the day.

The Arundel by Candlelight Christmas Market has stalls throughout the town and rivals many of the markets to be found in our larger cities for the quality and range of its hand-picked stall-holders, and there is always an array of seasonal treats such as roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and hog roasts. With a refreshing absence of chain stores, Arundel is also celebrated for its modern independent shops, contemporary art galleries, and great restaurants, pubs and cafes, many of which will be open late into the evening.

The High Street and Tarrant Street will be closed to traffic from 6.30am to 11.00pm, however there will still be full access to the Mill Road & Lido car parks which are free from midday onwards. Crown Yard car park will be closed on the day. There will be a Park & Ride scheme in operation from the WWT Arundel Wetland Centre. Drivers are advised to arrive into town via the A27 on the eastern (Worthing/Brighton) side of Arundel to gain access to car parks. If possible it is recommended to arrive by bus or train to help avoid congestion.

For more information on the day’s programme & timings please visit:

For further Press Information and Images, please contact:
Jonathan Brantigan, tel. 01903 882288 or email: arundelchamberofcommerce@gmail.com

Arundel by Candlelight Programme
Saturday 5th December – Midday to 7pm
Please note that timings are approximate and may be subject to change on the day.

Father Christmas & Live Nativity
12.30 – 5.00 - Arundel Museum, Mill Road
2.00 – 3.00 – Riversong & the Glee Club join forces to lead carol singing at the Museum.

3.00 – Judging of ‘Nativity Scene Light Boxes’ at the Victoria Institute
3.30 - Judging of Lanterns & Christmas Cards at the Norfolk Arms (children should post their handmade cards in the special Post Box in the Norfolk Arms Hotel by 3.00pm)
4.00 – Competition winners announced by the Duchess of Norfolk, the Mayor and the Town Crier in front of the Christmas Tree on the Town Square.

Roaming Entertainment
·        The Top Bananas: An energetic and eccentric quartet on stilts, expect the unexpected!
·        The Hartley Voices: Three Victorian Dressed Opera Singers.

High Street
12.00 – Opening parade with Live Nativity and Father Christmas plus children from local schools with their 'Nativity Scene Light Boxes'
12.15 – Arundel Youth Theatre perform seasonal songs
1.00 – Carol Service led by the 3 Churches (Arundel Baptist Church, the Parish & Priory Church of St. Nicholas and Arundel Cathedral) with Arun Choral Society
1.30 – Arun Choral Society
12.30 – 3.30 - Lantern Making Workshop at the Norfolk Arms
3.00 – 4.00 Choristers from Arundel Cathedral
4.15 – Gather at top of High Street to be part of Lantern Procession (all children must be accompanied by an adult; preferably no buggies or dogs please)
4.30 – Lantern Procession departs from top of High Street
4.45 – Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with Her Grace, the Duchess of Norfolk
5.00 – Rock Choir, a popular 70+ strong choir conducted by Vikki Hewitt
6/6.30 – InChoir, a non-auditioned choir open to anybody who wants to sing!

Lower High Street, across from Swan Hotel
Arundel & District Rotary Club selling holly & mistletoe for their chosen charities.
2.00 - 6.00 – Face-painting with ABC sponsor Pegasus Properties at No 21 High St.
6/6.30 – InChoir

Tarrant Street
1.30 - 2.00 – Arundel Youth Theatre at the Victoria Institute
2.00 - 6.00 – Live music at the Eagle from the Isles of Arun, Mad Max and Will’s Choir.
5.00 - Nineveh House: Panto excerpts; the story of how Jack sells the beloved cow Daisy to an evil magician, will good triumph over evil?
11.00 – 7.00 - Arundel Open Studios present “13 Artists in Winter” at 5 locations: 10 Castle Mews; Duff Gallery (10b Tarrant Street); The Victoria Institute; 2 Kings Arms Hill; 54 Tarrant Street.
Various times throughout the day: Is that snow in the air at Sparks Yard?

Crown Yard
·        Vintage fairground rides from Horton’s Steam Fair, including a Big Wheel and Helter-Skelter.
·        Arundel Community Partnership and WOW!Creative Community Stall promoting Arundel Youth Projects & Opportunities. Also buy a lantern so you can be part of the parade and details of a town-wide Treasure Hunt.

Christmas ‘Wish & Memory’ Trees
Somewhere for children & adults to leave their Christmas wishes and memories of loved ones; there will be one by the Crown Yard shops and others around town which will be confirmed nearer the day.

Transport & Parking
·        Mill Road and Lido car parks free are from midday onwards, with designated disabled bays.
·        A Park & Ride scheme will be in operation from midday till 7.30pm from Mill Road to the WWT Arundel Wetland Centre car park (the car park gates will be closed at 7.30pm)
·        Stagecoach and Compass buses will be operating from a temporary bus stop outside Mill Road car park.

Entertainment organised by Sharon Blaikie from the local Landon Sounds Bespoke Events.

Arundel by Candlelight is sponsored by Pegasus Properties
Market-leading estate agents in West Sussex and Hampshire


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Arundel cycle path

Arundel Station Cycle-path.
I have heard over the last month from many residents regarding the new cycle path from the Causeway roundabout to the Railway station, the roadworks that caused road chaos at the beginning of September, the runaway budget from £96k to approaching £300k and the disjointed working where one section was finished in May and the second section had to wait until September have generated derision and anger.,

I as well as Arundel Town Council will have to hold the County Councils feet to the fire regarding the budget overrun and the inconvenience caused, but to be fair to the County Council the specification has had to be changed a number of times at the insistence of Highways England (wider paths etc) and with all the various parties (Arundel Community Partnership, Network Rail, Highways England, WSCC, South Downs National Park, Arundel Town Council, Lyminster Parish Council and Arun) it's not surprising that agreement has been so slow and implementation even slower.

But I am sure that when it is all finished it will make a real difference to commuters (walking and cycling) alike and residents will embrace it as a real improvement.

Delivering projects like these in our increasingly complicated society with all the issues like EU procurement rules, transparent governance, Health and Safety only make these projects very very complicated, some may say why bother, but this whole project was conceived by Mike De Lara the former Chairman of the Arundel Community Partnership and they beavered away gaining support of all the relevant parties. So congratulations to ACP.

I am told that the idea was originally Heather De-Laras and there is a proposal to call it Heathers way, I can't think of a better name! But maybe you could? Suggestions on a postcard (or email) to the Town Council  admin@arundeltowncouncil.gov.uk.

Until next month

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward and Cabinet Member on Arun District Council. Email. Cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Productivity - My Sussex Local Article for October 2015

Economic argument for an Arundel Bypass is getting stronger. 
With all the talk about the UK's lagging productivity, France is 29% more productive than the UK, that's not because they work harder or longer hours, it's because France invested in roads, rail and airports whilst the UK engages in a hugely costly self absorbed debate discussing the rights and wrongs of any transport scheme, we waste endless hours and many millions of pounds towards Barristers, lobby groups and public inquiries whilst the rest of the world just gets on with it . 

Yes there needs to be a proper debate regarding our infrastructure but it needs to be time and cost limited, our civil service is part of the problem wrapping schemes up in rules and stifling technical requirements whilst the clock ticks.

I am in favour of HS2, not because we need a new high speed railway, but we need more capacity, incidentally, we should have chosen 180mph for HS2 (like the TGV in France) rather than 220mph which has increased cost and technical requirements.

Equally on Airports, we should have extra runways at Heathrow as well as Gatwick, at Heathrow the runway extension making two out of one made complete sense, Gatwick is the largest single runway airport in the world and desperately needs a second runway and Manston in Kent is an ideal extra airport for London, it has one of the best runways in the UK and already has a small terminal and it's only 16 miles from HS1 (Eurostar) but it's under threat to be redeveloped.

Locally, we need the A27 improvements and the Arundel By-pass, the closing of the A27 river bridge at Arundel impacts on our community and our local business surely this underpins the economic argument for our bypass. 

Our local rail needs improvement, the Arundel Chord which is a kilometer of new railway allowing Arun valley trains to turn left on to the coastal railway to Brighton and trains from Brighton to turn right to go up the Arun Valley line makes absolute economic sense, It would give resilience to all the south coast rail commuters giving an alternative route to London circumnavigating the Brighton line and Balcombe tunnel which has caused huge delays recently,

Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton ward and Cabinet Member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun District Council  email : Pauldendle@aol.com 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Weekly Waste Collection

You may have seen the recent stories about Arun considering dropping the weekly refuse collection,  Arun is in the process of tendering for a new cleansing contract starting in January 2017, this will cover street cleansing, Weekly refuse collection, street bins and public convenience cleansing.

In the debate at Cabinet I put forward the amendment to continue with weekly collections, I would like to explain why I did this and what my thinking is behind the decisions that we have made on your behalf. 

Arun and six other District Councils in West Sussex are the Collection authorities and West Sussex County Council is the Waste Authority.  One of the biggest challenges facing us is the EU rules on minimum recycling rates, We all have to be up to 50% recycling by 2020, if we don't we face fines from the EU.

Currently the weekly bin collection are taken to land fill, whereas the fortnightly Recycling bins contents are taken to the MRF at Ford, where it is separated and processed.

The recycling once sorted is sold to various manufacturers and Ford has a good reputation for the quality of its recyclables, currently Arun gets a £850k rebate for the sale of these.

Over the next few months the new MBT ( Mechanical Biological Treatment) plant at Horsham will start taking the weekly residual waste that currently goes to Land Fill and this will be processed at the new plant, the food waste will go to an anaerobic digester to power the plant and the remnants of this will go to create fertiliser, Metals will be extracted for recycling and non recyclable plastic will be processed into pellets for incinerators generating electricity from waste.  Any left over waste will go to landfill.

Within the tendering process of the new Arun cleansing contract there is an option to switch to a weekly food waste collection and a fortnightly residual waste, whilst also continuing with fortnightly recycling collection.   This option will not be possible for a number of years because West Sussex County Council can't yet receive food waste which will be counted toward our recycling target  which is critical to avoid the EU fines. 

So whilst I support continuing the weekly collection currently, there is an option to save money by introducing weekly food waste collections and reduce the residual waste to fortnightly, Arun needs to make millions in savings in the next few years, If we can hit the 50% target on recycling and also continue a weekly collection of sorts by collecting food waste, collecting residual and recycling on a fortnightly basis as well as saving money then we will have pulled off a tricky balancing act

Until Next Month,   Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Ward Member as well as Cabinet member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC.  Tel. no: 07725369841  email cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Leisure decisions

As Cabinet member I am responsible for Leisure provision, Arun is planning to build a new Sports and swimming centre in Littlehampton, Consultants helped us short list the possible sites down to either the existing site (Land adjacent to the existing building) or a possible new site which is on the A259 between the Morrison’s and the Bodyshop roundabout at the junction where the new Lyminster by-pass will insect with the A259.
I have been having a running argument with Littlehampton residents who say that they want to keep the centre at the existing site, I want to find the best site which is why we have some experts looking at two sites and coming up with a recommendation. I will support that recommendation whatever decision the Consultants recomend, it will be then for Councillors to make a decision, Many Littlehampton residents predominantly elderly have attacked me for not taking note of their opinion
But I have rightly been making the case that the whole District will be paying for the new centre so it should be the whole district that we consult on that decision.
Sport England advises on the best designs for new leisure centres.

I seem to be the bĂȘte noire of certain Littlehampton residents, I received considerable flack for the cuts we had to make to Inspire Leisure’s grant which resulted in them closing the Windmill Cinema, but with Arun’s officers help we managed to find a new Cinema operator and persuade Inspire Leisure to let the Windmill to this operator, The Windmill re-opened a year and a half ago with a new community model which is now making money rather than loosing £125,000 a year and having to be supported by Council tax payers.
I have always been a cost cutter in my business life, I reorganised the Councils buildings reducing them from 8 to 5 and bringing all the various receptions to a central area with comfortable seating, electronic queuing and television for waiting customers.
The Government will continue to cut our grant and we need to find new ways to deliver quality services for less money, I believe this gives us opportunity to introduce new technological ways of servicing residents

Until next Month, Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Ward and Cabinet member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC. Email: cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk tel 07725359841 web site: www.pauldendle.org

Friday, 26 June 2015

Housing numbers

I want to speak regarding the local plan and the various difficult decisions that local Councillors have to make in the coming months.  It's a very complex situation, but I will attempt to try and explain the situation.

You may or may not be aware of the Local Plan process and the need for each planning authority to come up with a Local Plan which links to the local Neighbourhood plans.  The Local Plan will govern housing and economic development for the next 15 years.  The plan has to be supported by evidence and so there are numerous studies that go to back up any plan.

As you may recall I had previously supported the Local Plan numbers of 580 houses per annum, not because I want 580 houses locally, but because if we don't have a valid plan in place then we are leaving the District open to Planning by appeal.  If Councillors reject a planning application the applicant can  appeal to the local Planning inspectorate in Bristol., Some times it takes tens of thousands of pounds to defend an appeal and If you don't have a valid Local Plan in place,then the Planning Inspectorate can over rule local Councillors and grant the appeal and the application would be approved without any recourse.  But also Developers could pick off the best greenfield sites without providing any infrastructure.

As previously mentioned the Housing numbers have to be backed by evidence, recently an up to date OAN has been run (Objectively Assessed Housing Numbers)and it has come out with a much higher figure than before, the figure is a ludicrously high figure of  up to 758pa., this could result in us having to build locally over 11,000 houses over the next 15 years, e.g. an extra 2670 houses over what we have already agreed.

This can also happen if the Local Authority does not have a five year land supply  in place, this is where a calculation is made with regard to Planning application approvals (yet to be built) totalling a total of 580 houses per annum x 5 years e.g. equalling  2900 houses, but rather than use our numbers (580pa) they use the higher OAN figure (758pa) to calculate the 5 year land supply figure which skews the numbers in favour of the Developers.

Unfortunately we  have a system where we have an over powerful Planning Inspectorate, we have economic pressure from the Treasury, Pressure from developers and a homeless charity sector lobbying for houses to cater for demand of up to 250,000 houses a year.   Councillors only line of defence is getting a valid local Plan in place ASAP, the longer we take in agreeing the plan, the greater pressure will build for even greater numbers.

I believe our first and most important priority is getting a plan in place what ever it takes, at the same time trying to defend sites which are inappropriate for new housing.,  I campaigned against development of the Horses Field site in Arundel and based on current evidence I am minded to object to the the large Fontwell planning application.

Councillors are attempting to  try and hold the line by agreeing a new higher figure of 641 houses, strategically I believe this is the best course of action, but the Planning Inspector may not accept this new figure and if that happens, we will have to go away and find new ways of achieving the higher ONS figure, this is something I will find totally unacceptable. Until next month!

Paul Dendle is the Arundel & Walberton Ward Councillor and also Cabinet member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC.  Email address is cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk  and his mobile is 07725359841.

Your Council

Your Council
Arun District Councillors first meeting after election

Need a hotel

Option A Pink blue route for Arundel By-Pass

Option A Pink blue route for Arundel By-Pass