‘Democratic process’ of Chichester committee is questioned

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A ‘HORRIFIED and appalled’ parish council has lodged a complaint with the district council after Shopwyke Lakes development got the go-ahead.

Oving Parish Council has complained about the procedures used to determine the outcome of the application at the meeting of the area development management committee (south) on Wednesday, May 1.

The council said it was ‘concerned about the influence’ the representative of the Highways Agency, who was present at the meeting, had on the votes of the committee members who had to make a decision on the proposed developments.

Ron Migliorini, parish council chairman, said in the letter the Highways Agency made it clear at the meeting it would refuse any alternate solutions to the removal of the Oving traffic lights.

He wrote: “The audience, including many of our parish councillors, was horrified and appalled as this so blatantly flew in the face of democratic process.

“Much of the meeting progressively degenerated into pure theatre: the members’ discussion could not be heard as unfortunately the public address system was not working properly and eventually failed completely.”

The letter also states the meeting ‘might well have been held behind closed doors’. He added: “Collectively the community to the east of Chichester is disappointed with the outcome of this May Day event. This complaint centres upon the seemingly pointless process that was allowed to unfold in order to ratify a foregone conclusion.”

The letter has been sent to Steve Carvell, the executive director of environment at Chichester District Council.