Precautionary moves made to allow Fontwell land to be bought for the new A29

Moves to allow the compulsory purchase of land at Fontwell for the first phase of the A29 realignment have been made as a precaution by West Sussex County Council.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 2:49 pm

Councillor Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport, has authorised the council’s director of law and assurance to publish the necessary Compulsory Purchase Order and take any necessary action to secure the land either by agreement or compulsion in order to secure the delivery of the proposed A29 Phase 1.

The council’s decision report said delivery of the first phase was dependent on land purchase and land being dedicated for highways use.

This phase – known as the northern tie-in – is a 1.3km stretch of road built linking Fontwell Avenue (A29), with Barnham Road (B2233).

An image of the A29 realignment

“Discussions with the developers of the scheme and Land Agent representatives are ongoing but there is always a possibility that agreement might not be reached, or only reached outside of the programme required by the county council to meet its obligations under Local Enterprise Partnership funding and planning permission,” the report said.

“As a precaution, the county council is undertaking preparation for initiating the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process which would require the determination of land and rights to be acquired, land valuations, and negotiations direct with landowners.

“If objections are received to the CPO a public inquiry may be required.

“It is necessary, therefore, to potentially allow the CPO process to begin, whilst WSCC continues to support and encourage a negotiated settlement route with the developers and landowners.

The aim is to create enough road space to cope with expected traffic growth from thousands of new homes proposed for the area.

The new road aims to take traffic away from congested areas, in particular at the Woodgate level crossing, improving journey times/connectivity between the coast and the A27.

It was identified as a key infrastructure requirement in the adopted Arun District Local Plan 2011-2031.

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