BATTLE lines have been drawn after an article in the Chichester Society newsletter suggested expanding Tangmere with more houses.
The society is against the proposed 1,000 homes at Whitehouse Farm and claimed the Tangmere move could put housing in a ‘definite settlement, not a sprawl’.
However, Tangmere Parish Council chairman Andrew Irwin hit back, saying an expansion of Chichester would be more sustainable than Tangmere.
“It is quite depressing to read the recent article issued by the Chichester Society outlining their response to the local plan,” he said.
“To suggest that housing on land at Tangmere is more suitable than to develop Whitehouse Farm seems to fly in the face of sustainable development.
“An urban expansion of Chichester for 1,000 houses is much easier to be incorporated into the city than to effectively double the size of a small village that currently has two convenience stores, no pub, and no other entertainment facilities.
“Most of the existing Tangmere residents travel out of Tangmere for their employment or retail requirements, and without a train service, this means car travel on an already overloaded A27.”
He said the society would do better to concentrate on the Whitehouse Farm development west of Chichester.
The article by the Chichester Society acknowledges Tangmere would be expanded substantially, but said it would use ‘largely brownfield land’ and would be easy to create good links to road and rail.
The piece was a round-up of the executive committee of the society’s submission to Chichester District Council, as part of its consultation on the local plan.
The society is firmly against building on greenfield lane, particularly Whitehouse Farm.
However, Mr Irwin suggested the society should concentrate on looking to get the best possible facilities for the site if it were built.
“It would be better if the Chichester Society were to examine the services they would require to make the Whitehouse Farm development into a gem to add value to the city for the future.”
Tangmere Parish Council is in the process of creating a neighbourhood plan and has undertaken a lot of work in the community to engage people in shaping the village’s future.
Mr Irwin said the council was taking a ‘positive stance’ on the challenges it faced by doing this and it would address the ‘historic lack of services’ and identify the future infrastructure requirements.
He added: “It does not take the discussion any further by representatives of any community attempting to pass the burden of development on to areas that are under-equipped to cope with the challenges that major house building brings.”