The Secretary of State for Housing is already examining the mass housing planned around Pagham and is expected to ‘call in’ the various developments.
That is according to Ray Radmall, the Pagham Parish Council chairman, who says he’s convinced the community can fight off the thousands of homes in the pipeline.
Increased numbers from Arun District Council’s developing Neighbourhood Plan to various submitted applications has sparked huge anger in the village.
Mr Radmall said more than 1,500 letters from had been sent to Arun, with similar numbers to Gavin Barwell through Bognor MP Nick Gibb, forcing the issue to the Secretary of State’s attention.
“Our parish council clerk has, in the last few days, heard that the Secretary of State is already looking into it,” Mr Radmall said. “That is because of the great number of letters from residents to our MP.
“As a parish council we have now been told to send our submissions so we intend to do that over the next few days.”
Sites at Sefter Road and Hook Lane, with outline applications for 250 and 300 homes, can be upped to 800 combined, Arun has agreed, while Pagham Road could go from 400 to 600.
These proposals were already deeply unpopular without the large additions because of existing issues like traffic and flooding.
Mr Radmall said: “The strategic allocations and the vulnerability of the Local Plan highlights the fact that we are set to get lots more houses but I now believe we are in a good position to get them refused.
“Local people are very angry about all of the developments and to their great credit they are forcing those in power to become aware of the situation.
“Thanks to the great work by the local group PAGAM, around 1,500 letters of objection have been sent to Arun’s planning department.
“The whole Pagham community should be commended for their actions.
“We are very fortunate to have a lot of experts on flooding and nature on board and all the letters carry an incredible amount of weight.
“I do believe we will have to accept some housing but nowhere near the amount that is being forced on us.
“What is being imposed on us will make Pagham no longer Pagham, they will totally alter the ambience and identity of our parish.”
Mr Radmall said fellow parish councillors had pledged £20,000 of around the £50,000 needed for a planning inquiry from their own personal funds.