Fighting Pagham housing appeal to cost council £25,000

Illustrative artist's impression of new homes planned for Pagham off Hook Lane
Illustrative artist's impression of new homes planned for Pagham off Hook Lane

Fighting plans for 300 new homes in Pagham is set to cost the council up to £25,000.

A large-scale development on land north of Hook Lane was refused by Arun District Council’s development control committee in January.

This was against the advice of council planning officers who had recommended approval.

But elected councillors argued the extra traffic generated by the new homes would exacerbate existing capacity issues on the road network and proposed mitigation measures were not sufficient.

The developer Hallam Land Management has appealed against the council’s decision and a planning inspector will hold a four-day public inquiry in October to discuss the case.

It is estimated it will cost the council up to £25,000 to defend the appeal.

Cabinet member will be asked to approve that amount to cover the costs at a meeting next Monday June 3.

As the appeal is being heard at a public inquiry council will need to be legally represented by counsel and the fee estimate for this is nearly £8,000.

Planning consultants would also be required to provide assistance and guidance to members defending the council’s case and to manage the appeal process.

A quote has been given for a fixed fee of £15,000 plus VAT and disbursements.

The amount of £25,000 allows for £2,050 for additional unforeseen costs.

Back in April the developer resubmitted the application in the hope the council would come to a different decision a second time around.

A document submitted to the council says the previous application ‘sought planing permission in the same form as this current application’.

It suggests councillors ‘acted unreasonably and against the advice of the council’s professional planning officers’ by refusing the first application.

If cabinet members approve the costs, the recommendation will then go to full council for final sign-off.