Sompting NP Planning Workshop: 23.10.2013

Housing Topic

The RDALP’s Strategic Allocation at West Sompting

The above allocation set in policy 6 of the RDALP was the main housing issue of the workshop as the parish consists of a built-up boundary with no obvious available sites, the green local (strategic) gap and the South Downs National Park area. Therefore the following dilemmas concern the West Sompting site with the housing allocation of 80 dwellings in the northern part and 400 dwellings in the southern part.

Key Points:

Dilemma 1: Housing number

·         The numbers allocated for housing in the strategic allocation area of West Sompting is too high, and is there a reason for using such a big plot for the community orchards, when it may be used for housing instead?

Dilemma 2: Infrastructure & Services

·         CIL contribution to maximise improvement to the road network surrounding of the development, such as a slip road onto the A27 and speed calming measures along the A27.

·         West Street is heavily congested as it is, new access road is needed.

·         The retail services could be improved through introducing more locally produced foods and other products.

·         A more social catering and retail areawhere the community can congregate to be incorporated within the new development.

·         With new housing, new services and amenities are needed, but more importantly, employment opportunities!

Dilemma 3:Housingdesign,type&tenure

·         Most participants would like to have a design brief developed setting out the character and identity.St Mary’s Close could act as a blue print for development(need to test the support for this)

·         Housing design should not be too uniform but vary in style and layout. Materials, such as flint, stone ad timber should be used.Some welcomed modern style housing.

·         No flats, however, terraced looking houses that where divided into flats would be welcomed, these would be useful as downsizer units and starter homes.

·         Family units are also needed according to some. The Cul de sac approach may benefit the character of West Sompting as a way of creating a neighbourhood watch/community feel.

·         Parking to be incorporated as in Rectory Farm Estate.

·         Affordable housing was welcomed by most of the participants, and some thought the percentage should be higher, at 40%.

·         Some thought that Somping already has a high number of affordable housing, especially social housing (situated on the east and south edges of the West Sompting allocated area). But most believed they should be represented and pepper-potted within open market housing

·         The intermediate housing part of the affordableprovision could be larger.

Dilemma 4:Community facility

·         A community facility is needed in the Parish and would be welcomed in the new strategic allocation area of West Sompting, however, most participants did not believe there was enough space to incorporate the facility.

·         Gardens or green spaces should be incorporated within the future residential development.

Other points:

·         There is no land for further housing allocation in the built up area and the Strategic gap between Sompting /Lancing and Worthing is fundamental to the character and wellbeing of the surrounding area.

·         A few of the participants voiced a very firm view that Sompting itself does not have a housing need/demand at this point in time and that the evidence base supporting the number in the Revised Draft Local Plan (RDALP) including the allocation of West Sompting needs revisiting. However most of the participants looked at shaping the more detailed allocation in the strategic allocation area.

·         Big National Lottery pot to make contribution towards enhancing the community cohesion, through development of a new community hall or/and recreational space.

·         There was concern that the phasing of the development of the 480 houses would be spread over a 5 year period and not over a 15 year period that would be preferred.

·         Embrace green technology

·         Flood risk in part of the very northern and southern part of the West Sompting site, industrial site off Rectory Farm Road and Land just north of the A27 and west of Steepdown Road

·         Development on any land just north of the A27, preffered to prevent any further development in the Sompting/Lancing to Worthing Gap.