12 days to comment

ON JUNE 7 this community received for the first time notice through the Observer of a planning application for a substantial 26 housing units development for a site at Stoney Meadow, North Mundham, off School Lane and directly opposite the school.

Firstly we were told it was too late to make any comments, but later we were told we had just 12 days in which to respond.

Just 12 days is totally unrealistic as a time scale for the public to digest these details, have meetings (as such a large development demands) and for the parish council and the residents to meet, discuss and formulate a response.

We object vigorously to this appalling treatment by planning at the district council and asked that a realistic closing date can be agreed.

Finally July 11 was offered but this is still too little time.

Proper public consultation over a due period is the bedrock of local democracy and this flies in the face of such principles.

The application itself deserves comment.

Why was the applicant not informed at the time of applying that as the site for the development was outside the Settlement Policy Area of North Mundham permission for this development stood little chance of being granted?

There has been no development outside the tight Settlement Policy Area which encircles the built-up areas of North Mundham for ten to 15 years and this has preserved the rural nature of the surrounding area. Nothing has changed.

In addition the site suffers dreadful sewage problems with surcharging even in the school toilets and the already difficult traffic would be made much worse.

The application should be rejected.

The report in the Observer last week of the distinctly murky planning matters at Birdham and Crooked Lane is a great cause for local concern.

This casts some doubt on the full integrity of at least some of those in planning who, above all, should have a duty to the public as a priority.

The Observer has done a great service in exposing these details and I urge that it continues to pursue the matter in the public interest, and reveal the full truth.

Our fear is that similar dubious practices may have occurred or be occurring in our immediate neighbourhood.

Mark Neave

Chairman, Mundham and Runcton Residents Association (MARRA)