Better alternative?

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It is time the residents of Chichester, particularly those in the East Ward, benefit from a fresh look into the need to use greenfield sites for housing and commercial development.

With the high level of building under way or with planning permission in the ward, including 85 acres at Graylingwell, an imbalance will be created that is not in the best interests of the local communities.

One site in question to the east of Church Road was previously used as a soccer field.

The land had been undeveloped and is not classified as brownfield.

Planning permission was granted in December 2009, for 80-plus houses, to a very high density, with little care taken by the officers in question, to listen to the views of the residents of Westhampnett Road and Church Road.

Furthermore, the residents had been denied fair consultation and a request to the council’s senior executives for an explanation of expenditure to date and estimates of anticipated revenues, fell on deaf ears.

The planning process rode roughshod over the wishes of the local residents and during the application period, requests for further information regarding costings, technical reports and the like, were ignored.

The residents had always expressed the number of houses on the site was too great, and that with a reduced number of houses, the additional roundabout required on Westhampnett Road could be avoided.

Money aside, the existing residents need amenity space.

Once the small amount of available open space has been built upon, there will be nowhere in the local area to be considered suitable for play or recreational use.

A residents’ meeting has called for the Chichester District Council to prepare a new scheme for the site, that provides a balance of new housing to a lower density, to maintain some green playing space and to avoid the need for an unwanted extra roundabout, diversion of the River Lavant and the felling of a line of established trees in the process.

With care, a new scheme could be prepared that could increase the nett income into the council’s coffers, by avoiding the problems and high anticipated costs connected to the Westhampnett roadworks.

The residents need to make their concerns and wishes public and are grateful to the Observer for publishing their letters on these matters.

Colin Wood

Chichester