LETTER: Keep identities of our villages

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Be careful what you wish for! K.W. Newby writes again on the matter of where to put extra housing in Bosham.

K.W. Newby needs to be careful what is wished for. A small site in the corner of a field outside the AONB is so easily a Trojan horse for the ultimate coalescence of villages.

Travel between Littlehampton and Brighton, a distance of about 20 miles, and see how many fields you can count! What Chichester planners call ‘the East-West Corridor’ meaning the area between Emsworth and Chichester, faces a similar fate, but for the anti-coalescence policies in their local development plan. This policy is of great significance if we are to retain the individual identities of the villages, like beads on a string of main road and railway connections.

K.W. Newby asserts that the Bosham Neighbourhood Plan Team hid from the view of the exhibitions the other great constraint on development, which is the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is simply not true and a quick glance at the documents, which were displayed at the exhibitions of housing choices will very precisely show that. These were exhibitions number 5 and number 6 and the details can be found at http://boshampari- shneighbourhoodplan.

moonfruit.com/exhibitions/4580775652 for the Fifth Exhibition. This exhibition displayed a map of the AONB as anyone can see and http://boshamparishneighbourho-

odplan.moonfruit.com/exhib-

itions/4580775652 for the sixth exhibition. This exhibition displayed explanatory notes on the criteria for site selection, amongst which was the heading ‘Avoid development in AONB’ against a red background!

Furthermore, when the Bosham Plan was drafted for final public consultation in November, 2014, a map of the parish, including a prominent boundary line of the AONB, was printed on page 2 of the document. It could not be more prominent.

It is therefore ridiculous to claim that the team withheld information about the extent of the AONB. It covers 84 per cent of the parish land area and has done so since the day it was declared in 1964 after which some houses continued to be built, including the development that K.W. Newby states he moved to. Subsequently the A27/A259 was realigned to the south along parts of its length through the Bosham, whilst the AONB boundary remained as it was first declared.

K.W. Newby tries to make out that many developments occurred in the AONB following designation, but the 1965 Ordnance Survey maps of the village show that not to be true – only some, including the address from which he writes. See the maps on page 52 of the Bosham Village Design Statement published in November 2011: http://www.chichester.gov.uk/CHtt-

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The overwhelming conclusion is that it is indeed much easier to control development effectively within the AONB, protected as it is with criteria, conditions, development and design guidance. It is much harder outside. I am glad KR Newby is not a planner!

Dick Pratt

Chair of Bosham Association

Bosham Lane

Bosham