Boklok Planning Refusal ‘About Face’ for Yapton

Jan Cosgrove
2 min readJan 15, 2024

Bognor Regis Herald 14 January 2024

‘Our local reporter attended the ADC Council Planning Meeting at
Littlehampton, on Nov.15 th 2023, which was also webcast. Residents of Yapton were delighted to learn that the Boklok planning application Y/52/23/PL, for 170 prefabricated houses in Bilsham Rd. Yapton, was refused.

Immediately after that meeting, a report in connection was sent out by Neil Crowther (ADC Group Head of Planning) to all Councillors on the ADC Planning Committee, and to Yapton Parish Council. It advised that he had not been given the opportunity to make recommendations to the Councillors regarding their objections in debate, before they voted, as a requirement to be undertaken at the meeting.

The main ADC Councillor objections at the Nov.15 th 2023 meeting were:
1. The BUAB of Yapton (built up area boundary),

2. Grade1 agricultural land,

3. The ADC Drainage Engineers report,

4. The unsuitability of the type and style of modular buildings.

The Neil Crowther report also advised that that those same aspects were
intended to be included as an agenda item onto a Planning Meeting on Dec.
14th 2023. With a view to them now being withdrawn as objections to the
earlier planning refusal.

It is of note at the earlier meeting on Nov.15th 2023, that Neil Crowther
alleged made the following recommendations: ‘That reference to the BUAB and *Grade1 agricultural land was not likely to be accepted reason in the case of an appeal’. Also, in continuation, ’That if Councillors were minded to vote to refuse the application it would not be accepted in appeal’. (These related to objections 1 and 2 above particularly *Latest Gov. advice and in the National Press is that Grade1 agricultural land is to be exempt from development, not as the reason in the recommendation).

Simon Davis (ADC Planning Officer) also referred to the Drainage Engineers report, and that latter had now withdrawn their objection. That report was not presented to the meeting or read out and was not
available until Nov. 21 st .2023 on the website, 4 working days after the meeting.

After those recommendation by the 2 ADC officers at the Nov.15th 2023
meeting, the ADC Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application.
It was observed at the subsequent meeting on Dec.14th 2023, (also webcast)
that Neil Crowther reiterated the recommendations he had made earlier, but now stating that the Councillor objections should be withdrawn.
Only 5 of the Councillors present at the earlier meeting were at the second.
Substitutes were supplied for the other 5.

The 5 original Councillors now voted that their earlier objections should be
withdrawn as for 1,2, and 3, leaving 4, relating to the type and style of modular housing. The substitute Councillors abstained from voting.
Yapton Parish Council submitted no comment at all concerning any proposed change.

It is something of a mystery how the recommendations made on Nov. 15 th
2023 by Neil Crowther and Simon Davis were ignored by the Councillors at that time, and the planning application was rejected. A month later the same reasons were given for those objections, but they were withdrawn’.

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Jan Cosgrove

National Secretary of Fair Play for Children, Also runs Bognor Regis Herald online. Plus runs British Music Radio online