MP Nick Herbert visited Pulborough Parish Council to address villagers’ major concerns last week.
The Arundel and South Downs MP attended the meeting on Thursday October 17 to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan, road congestion, infrastructure and fracking.
He said planning applications were the biggest issue in his postbox, but he had ‘no direct power’ to stop the threat of developments - he could only influence them.
“I think the development pressures in West Sussex is the biggest issue facing us.”
To combat this, the Government had given parish councils the task of developing a Neighbourhood Plan, so residents could stipulate where developments should be located.
Mr Herbert referred to the plan as a ‘huge burden’ on parish councils, but encouraged them to see it through.
“It represents tremendous potential - saying what we want as a community rather than saying what we don’t. I think it’s a huge burden on the parish councils but I want to encourage you to do it.”
With major changes to the A27 in the pipeline, Mr Herbert reassured the parish council that West Sussex had got Transport Minister Stephen Hammond’s full attention, and the Arundel bypass (which it is hoped would alleviate traffic congestion through Storrington and Pulborough) was on the agenda.
Councillor Andy Tilbrook said that when it rained in Pulborough the sewers filled up with drainage water and reached capacity.
“We need to ensure that the sewage system is monitored,” he added.
Mr Herbert said he had held a sewage summit to discuss the issues, but he agreed a follow- up was now necessary.
With the looming possibility of oil and gas exploration at Wisborough Green, Mr Herbert said: “We need to make sure that while this activity takes place it minimises any impact to the countryside.”
He agreed that residents would not want the process to also take place in Pulborough.