Why are brownfield sites not given priority?

Like numerous local residents, I feel compelled to write to express grave concerns at the draft housing ‘consultation’ plans proposing four housing developments in the Chichester area.

As mentioned by previous readers, I remain unclear as to why existing brownfield sites have not been given priority consideration?

In particular, the scale of the Whitehouse Farm development remains an inappropriate location for such a huge housing development for two reasons: the existing daily congestion on St Paul’s Road, plus it is right next to Centurion Way and Brandy Hole Lane Copse, a cherished green sanctuary for local residents, ornithologists, cyclists and walkers.

Councillor Heather Caird claims the draft housing plan blueprint will result in a ‘financial bonus’ for the district, but does not elaborate as to the precise ‘impact costs’ on existing residents’ ‘quality of life’, not to mention existing infrastructure expenditure required for this anticipated influx of proposed population, eg the A27 gridlock that currently blights the whole community. Another vacuous claim made in support of the local draft housing plan was the need for urgent housing for local young people (which I fully support). However, elected representatives recently voted against ‘shared ownership’ mortgage initiative schemes – which provide a crucial first step on to the property ladder for first-time buyers, local young people or key worker employees.

Such schemes are urgently required to address the demographic imbalance of this rapidly-ageing county town (predominantly consisting of retired, fixed-income residents). If CDC has genuine intentions to deliver on such claims, why are they not offering to provide only affordable housing that current younger resident’s need over the plan period, as other district councils have done for their community?

Perhaps it goes to show why so many elected representatives vehemently opposed the creation of the South Downs National Park, as they simply want to build right up to the boundary

of the national park for short-term political and financial gain.

DJ Gaylard

Peacock Close

Chichester