The Arundel Neighbourhood Plan Steering committee is updating the 2014 Neighbourhood Plan sponsored by the Town Council.

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TASK GROUP TOPICS - OBSERVATIONS & QUESTIONS 

GOAL

To set up several Task Groups (each made up of 6-8 residents) to look at some Topic Areas.

 

We set out below some background and general observations, and then some specific observations & questions for each of the Topic Areas. 

NB - These lists are for guidance and are not exhaustive, we expect that through the Task Group process more observations and questions will arise. 

For more background and other documentation please see Background Documents.

 

BACKGROUND

  • Arundel's first Neighbourhood Plan (ANP1) has some successes and also some shortfalls to be addressed

  • Some ANP1 policies will be deleted (because delivered or no longer necessary); others to be continued to encourage implementation

  • New & some amended policies needed to address current challenges

  • Greater value from site-specific rather than generic policies

  • There is no longer a specific requirement from Arun District Council Local Plan (ADC LP) for land allocations in Arundel but NPs in the District need to contribute to 1,250 total homes target to 2031 or ADC will allocate sites

  • Some specific ADC LP policies will need to be consistent in ANP2– Setting of Arundel, Arundel to Littlehampton Green Link and town centre shopping areas

  • There are no specific requirements in South Downs National Park Local Plan (SDNP LP) though Arundel noted as ‘gateway’ to the Park

  • Some changes will be incorporated due to national policy changes via the revised NPPF (see briefing note on this.)

  • Decisions on A27 Arundel Bypass proposals due later in 2018

  • The major strategic housing allocations at Ford, Littlehampton and Barnham etc may have important ‘push and pull’ influences on Arundel

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

  • ANP1 essentially looked to make a good place better, building on good things, utilising brownfield sites rather than releasing greenfield, promoting sustainable travel, and protecting itself from further flood risks.

  • In ANP2 may look at some more difficult challenges – narrow retail offer, affordable housing, improved connectivity, changing economic purpose, aging demographic

  • For ANP2 to be worth the effort only 5 years on from ANP1 it would be better to seek to tackle these issues rather than return in another 5 years

  • Tackling these issues will involve inevitable trade-offs between environmental constraints and other objectives – it will be crucial that the local community is engaged effectively to understand why this may be necessary and to play a part in choosing where to draw the lines

  • There appear to be four central themes (See below) that will likely ‘hit the ground’ in the town in different ways

  • The four themes will be looked at by three Task Groups (splitting the town into three distinct areas): Riverside, Old Town and Torton Hill/Canada Road. The observations from these Task Groups will then be consolidated by the Steering Group in order to determine emerging new policies for ANP2.

Go to Task Group Evidence for documents related to each Topic Area.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

OBSERVATIONS

  • Very few new homes built in the last decade

  • Likely net loss of primary residence stock (to AirBnB and second homes) leading to fall in population

  • Evidence of older households occupying large homes but little smaller stock  to downsize to

  • Increasing affordability problems driving younger households out of the local market narrowing the demographic profile of the town

  • Planning system limited in its tools for delivering specific housing solutions – need to be matched with land control mechanisms like a Community Land Trust, which needs access to developable land

  • With little/no expectation of ADC/SDNPA of Arundel supplying new homes to contribute to Local Plans, ANP2 has more leverage to secure innovative housing solutions with land owners/developers

  • There is land available for development identified in ADC’s 2016 HELAA report (albeit some assessed as unsuitable)

QUESTIONS

  • Can we be clearer on what the evidence says about our housing stock, its changes and trends in demographics?

  • How do we compare to other places in Arun/Park or similar towns elsewhere in England?

  • Is there data available on AirBnB and second homes? Is the problem big enough to justify a ‘St.Ives’ approach of restricting new homes allocated in ANP2 to primary residence?

  • Does the 2016 HELAA still represent the available land for housing development in the town area?

  • What factors will determine the right places to build houses?

  • What type of houses are needed to meet local needs?

  • Should we think about delivering new homes as part of mixed use schemes to deliver other non-housing benefits?

  • Should we revisit the Community Land Trust idea and find a specific scheme for it to deliver? 

ECONOMY - retail & non-retail

RETAIL OBSERVATIONS

  • Arundel has a distinct market position in Arun if not the wider South Downs area (and nationally)

  • On some key measures the town centre is successful; on others it may be less so

  • There are signs that a new type of retailer (small multiple, ethical/lifestyle clothing) may be attracted to the town centre

  • The town is very small and has some much larger neighbours offering a higher order and range of goods and services, with little prospect over the next 20 years that that will change very much (though might in some niches)

  • The town centre is a fundamental element of the success of the town and getting its blend of retail and other uses right is essential

  • Seeking to broaden the offer to local people is seen as important but recent initiatives have not always worked

     

RETAIL QUESTIONS

  • For what purposes is more floorspace needed?

  • Where are there opportunities to create this floorspace?

  • Will some depend on delivery through mixed used schemes rather than retail alone?

  • Is there a need to prevent existing floorspace being lost to other uses?

  • Is all the retail floorspace in the right place or can it be consolidated?

  • What influence will 2,000+ homes at Ford etc have?

NON-RETAIL OBSERVATIONS

  • 300+ businesses registered in the town but many are home-based (higher % than Arun or UK)

  • Business (B1) floorspace is limited in the town and therefore vacancies are relatively low

  • Increasing interest from creative industries as a location but practicalities of access to labour and car parking difficult in some places

  • No response to the ANP1 Live-Work Unit encouragement so may need to be site-specific in ANP2

  • Risk of loss of employment land to residential given land value differences

  • Home-based businesses may value a hub support facility

     

NON-RETAIL QUESTIONS

  • What will be the changing patterns of demand for floorspace?

  • Are there planning restrictions that ANP2 could remove?

  • What existing B1 floorspace is at risk?

  • Where might new B1 floorspace be located? Suited to what types of business? Delivered on its own or part of a mixed use scheme?

  • Where might a hub support facility be located if there is evident demand and a viable business model?

  • What influence will 2,000+ homes at Ford etc have?

SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE - community & environment

COMMUNITY OBSERVATIONS

  • Youth Club facilities need long term replacement

  • Primary schools at capacity – noted new provision at Ford/Climping

  • No nearby secondary school so there are long car and/or train trips – noted  that WSCC has to plan for a new school in the Westergate area to support ADC LP strategic allocations

  • Doctors surgery is at capacity

  • There is under-provision of pre-school places but a local nursery operator is still keen on reusing the Mill House Barn

  • The Lido proposals of ANP1 are part of a current planning application

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS

  • What are the options for providing new youth facilities? What type of facilities? Where?

  • How will new primary and secondary school provision south of the town affect the town?

  • Can the existing surgery be enlarged?

  • If the Mill House idea is no longer possible, is there another way of delivering

    new pre-school places? Where?

  • Are there other public facilities t(sports, recreation, allotments etc) that are

    missing? 

  • Is the current allotment provision adequate?

ENVIRONMENT OBSERVATIONS & QUESTIONS

  • Flood risk is still an issue

  • How will climate change affect ANP1

CONNECTIVITY - transport & access

OBSERVATIONS

  • A27 Bypass proposals still dominate connectivity issues

  • Real concern of impacts of Ford/Climping strategic allocations accessing A27 at Arundel (Ford Road especially)

  • Loss of some local bus services

  • Arundel is a ‘two station town’ but access to Ford Station increasingly difficult at peak hours

  • Appears no specific provision in Ford strategic allocation for non-car transport infrastructure (e.g. cycle lane) improvements on Ford Road

  • Non-car access within the 3 parts of the town is difficult and needs to work much better

  • But ADC emphasis on connectivity seems to be for recreational purposes not access to employment and services

  • Arundel Town centre is dominated by the car, with little emphasis on shared space, walking & cycling

QUESTIONS

  • What does the evidence suggest will be the effects of major development at Ford etc and of the A27 Bypass options?

  • How will this influence where the ANP2 chooses to allocate land for development?

  • What local infrastructure improvements are necessary to promote non-car trips and to utilise road capacity more effectively? 

  • How can ANP2 address the physical streetscene to allow for all users and reduce dominance of cars?