DUNCAN Barkes is right to promote the emotive issues which surround the proposals for new housing. Although he does not list Nyetimber and Pagham in the villages concerned (or should it be threatened) large areas of prime agricultural land have been ‘designated’ to the north east and west of our villages.
At a previous local enquiry into proposals at Hook Lane, Southern Water stated unequivically that the treatment works in Summer Lane could not cope with further large-scale developments. Although some work has been done at the Summer Lane site, it cannot be sufficient to reverse the previous held beliefs.
At the same enquiry the local GP practice was adamant there would be insufficient facilities to cater for a development of 170 or so houses. A new school would be necessary to cater for incoming children’s educational needs.
The futility of mass housing on agricultural land is plain for all (except those responsible for planning decisions) to see. There will be many more mouths to feed, and the remaining (much reduced) agricultural land will need far greater intensive working than it can possibly cope with. And, no, the answer cannot be to rely on further increasing the food imported from abroad, because we then become totally reliant on other countries’ climate and harvesting. Only a week ago, one national newspaper highlighted the problem facing us because of poor crops in the USA.
At the Hook Lane enquiry I said that people might like to live in this part of the country (and county) but they want to live in the area as it is now. They don’t want to move from one concrete jungle to another.
In Pagham and Nyetimber, we have flood risks. Are the planners really suggesting pouring tonnes of concrete on flood plains is doing anything to avoid these floods?
One final point – there are no recreational facilities for informal enjoyment, with even the local bowls club being forced to play their own home matches in Bognor. Where are the incoming youngsters to go for their leisure time? It is not too early to crank up the opposition as Duncan Barkes states in his column last week.