VIDEO: Traffic safety concerns raised over Storrington homes bid

Storrington residents have rallied to fight a development bid they fear will be a threat to children’s safety due to extra traffic.

Wates Developments’ application to build 102 homes off Fryern Road, and adjacent to Melton Drive, in Storrington is currently under investigation by the planning inspector after Horsham District Council (HDC) refused the proposal.

JPCT 200114 Melton Drive, Storrington - residents protest over plans for development next to Melton Drive. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 200114 Melton Drive, Storrington - residents protest over plans for development next to Melton Drive. Photo by Derek Martin

Melton Drive residents are up in arms after HDC found ‘common ground’ with the county council’s Highways Agency, which will allow Wates Developments to build an access pathway off Fryern Road if the outline application is approved.

Residents fear for the safety of children because of the heavy traffic flow and HGV vehicles through Fryern Road.

Melton Drive resident Howard Brunt: said “There are two sides to this, you’ve got the procedural formula and set against that you’ve got the threat to life. To me there’s a complete disparity of logic.”

HDC said Wates Developments has satisfactorily resolved the council’s issue of transport.

A spokesperson for HDC said: “It was originally turned down because it was felt that the applicant had failed to demonstrate safe and accessible access for pedestrians and cyclists to the new development. Wates Developments has addressed these issues and the amendments have been assessed and agreed by the highway engineers at West Sussex County Council.”

Melton Drive resident Alan Brien believed the county council’s decision was ‘appalling’.

He said: “In our view the county council has abrogated its responsibility because it has agreed to transport solutions that are complete madness, and as Chair of Governors at Rydon Community College for the last eight years, safeguarding children has been my principle responsibility and in that respect what they’re proposing down the road actually threatens the safety and welfare of children and that is just appalling.”

Mr Brunt said the access from Fryern Road is by a ‘pinch point’ and claims vehicles driving at the 30MPH speed limit will only give pedestrians a four second time-frame to cross.

Wates Developments has proposed to make the public trail into a paved footpath, which will provide access from Fryern Road to Storrington First School and Riverside Walk.

Mr Brien said: “For a development this large in terms of infrastructure, the transport solutions are exceedingly poor, we’re very alarmed.”

Although ‘common ground’ has been found on transport issues, due to other factors, the application is still recommended for refusal.

The planning inspector’s investigation into the 102 home application will continue in February - a date is yet to be confirmed by HDC.