LETTER: Protect farmland

HAS the district council and the government lost the plot for Whitehouse Farm? The rising population of the world will soon outstrip the production of food.

Experts say we need two per cent more cereal crops per year to meet this demand and also state in 50 years’ time we will need every hectare of land in the world to produce this food.

Whitehouse Farm is not a scrubby piece of pasture but 121 hectares of prime agricultural land.

It does not sound a lot, but this amount of land growing wheat in the UK can produce enough grain to produce over 1.25 million loaves of bread per year.

Chichester district’s own studies show Chichester doesn’t need any more houses for the people living and working here so 1,600 houses (5,000 people) are required only to fulfil some notional government figure of national demand.

Whitehouse Farm has all sorts of issues if developed for houses.

These include loss of wildlife habitat, flooding, waste water and sewerage problems, access and traffic congestion, disturbance of bird life in the harbour, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and its profound impact on the setting and future of the historic cathedral city of Chichester.

Whitehouse Farm was a late, desperate addition to the local plan and the recent planning application for the first phase of 750 houses only emphasises what a huge mistake it would be to develop this site. It is not too late.

If enough of us shout this is just wrong, then someone in the right place might listen.

Once any of these houses are built on Whitehouse Farm, the agricultural use is gone and we have lost this important plot of land forever.

Richard Plowman

Worcester Road

Chichester