Littlehampton Town Council is demanding the Government steps in to save a riverbank from development.

The council has written to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, asking for help to block plans to build houses on Town Quay, on the River Arun.

A Government administrator has replied stating the Government could not intervene with the East Bank development and that Arun District Council had been authorised to decide the application.

Developers want to build 26 houses and offices on harbour board land at Town Quay in Littlehampton.

In turn, the harbour board has applied for planning permission for new workshops at Railway Wharf.

The plans are currently before Arun District Council but have not yet been decided.

The district council has already given permission for a multi-million scheme to build 87 homes, a visitor centre, a youth hostel and a pub/restaurant on the riverbank.

The plans were given the go-ahead despite opposition from the town council and residents.

Councillor Andy Hawkes said: "We are appealing against this letter and asking the Government to help us in this fight.

"The letter didn't give a reason why they wouldn't help us and that's not good enough.

"We have written another letter and our MP Nick Gibb is now also involved.

"We believe we have a very strong case to stop the development going ahead."