A FRESH bid to save Oving traffic lights has been launched, after villagers created a rival planning application to save the A27 crossroad.
Outrage greeted the approval of an application for 500 homes a year ago as part of the Shopwyke Lakes development, which would see the crossroad scrapped.
However, campaign group LOLA (Leaving Oving Lights Alone) has launched an ambitious attempt to win the day, applying to Chichester Distric Council for the lights to stay.
“I knew that anybody could apply for planning permission so I applied that principle,” said Sjoerd Schuyleman, one of the founders of LOLA and chairman of Oving Parish Council.
A fierce campaigner who led the fight against the lights’ removal, Cllr Schuyleman submitted the plan without telling the Highways Agency.
LOLA as a group is convinced the retention of the lights would benefit the 500 homes on Shopwyke Lakes.
Fellow councillor Ron Migliorini said the lights’ removal meant more people would drive through the development to avoid queuing for the Bognor and Portfield roundabouts.
“Shopwyke Lakes is going to end up as a commuter route, with people using it as a rat run,” he said.
The cost of the application has been paid by Oving Parish Council.
Since Shopwyke Lakes got the green light last year, LOLA has tried to persuade Hanbury Properties to amend the application to retain the lights but has met with no success.
Cllr Migliorini added: “We put LOLA in place in an effort to have Hanbury sit up and take notice and remove that particular condition from the plan. That having failed, we’ve gone round the houses to find something beneficial to us, Chichester District Council and Hanbury.”
At the time of the Shopwyke application, the Highways Agency refused to support any application for the site which did not include the removal of the crossroad.
A survey carried out by a traffic expert on behalf of the parish council found an average of 4,500 vehicle movements per day were recorded through the village.
Only about 900 of those came from within the village, leaving 3,600 movements from people using the lights.
LOLA has reached out to parish councils to get support for their application, submitted on May 27.
There is also an e-petition. A previous one garnered nearly 2,000 signatures, but it is hoped LOLA phase two can attract even more. Visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65425.