Concerns over developer’s influence on local plans

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When I saw David Renton-Rose’s letter (Observer, February 28), I contacted Chichester District Council and said I was interested and would like to send in a letter myself.

I informed them I would use the material provided by them, but make my comments from my own research.

As so much information became available, close to the date questions were to be submitted, I spent nearly 30 hours straight trying to research the documents and then, not knowing the format, sent in a brief summary of what I had found out.

As the paper was not in the form of a question, even though it had many questions in it, I was told it would be submitted to all interested parties.

My conclusion for this assessment came from CDC’s cabinet meeting on the Draft Local Plan Key Policies – Preferred Approach.

In Paragraph 6.13 it says: ‘Following approval by the Council, the draft Plan will be published for informal public comment....’ It also states in section 6.14 there will be a formal public consultation in Oct/Nov, but does not say if this is binding.

Reading through the question and answer paper, you can see many of the proposals for the White House Farm rely on further studies. What will happen if these fail? I find it alarming the White House Farm developer could spend up £5m providing what would be a private sewer.

What I find even more worrying is the article by Heather Caird, leader of the CDC. She said: “By producing this plan we are showing we will accept change, but more importantly, that we are in control of this change.”

She then says: “In the future there will be no government funding for social housing.” She then goes on to say social housing can only be provided by requiring developers to deliver a proportion of affordable houses within the plan.

This implies to me that if the CDC want affordable housing, there will be pressure on them to provide the developer land where they want to build.

Given this consideration, how much of the local plan has been influenced by developers? Is any of this plea bargaining in the public domain?

Mick Ever

Little Breach

Chichester