Concern at appearing a ‘laughing stock’ over Shopwyke Lakes

The view of Shopwyke Lakes. ENGSNL00120110510090216
The view of Shopwyke Lakes. ENGSNL00120110510090216

GRAVE concerns were raised about a new road to be built off the A27.

A new spine road that would connect the A27 east of the Portfield roundabout to the B2144 Shopwhyke Road has been green-lit by Chichester District Council.

The road will eventually cut through the 500-home Shopwyke Lakes housing estate from north to south and will also connect west to the eastbound A27 carriageway between the Oving crossroad and the Portfield roundabout.

However, councillors claimed they were not getting enough detail about the application by Hanbury Properties.

Councillors were worried about the state of the road proposed and angry at being told not to worry about the details of this application, after claiming they were told the same thing when approving the Shopwyke Lakes site in 2013.

“To be told don’t you worry now about the fine details is wrong,” said Donnington councillor John Ridd at a meeting of the planning committee on January 7.

He claimed the committee was being asked to approve the application without looking at the traffic impact of other developments in the area, such as the Barnfield Drive retail park and Graylingwell.

“We can’t look at this in sheer isolation,” he said. “We would be stopped and we would be held as a laughing stock by the good people of the area if we did that.

“We need to look at this in the whole and in as much fine detail as we can. This will have a huge impact on this site of Chichester in the next five, ten, 20 years.”

The Highways Agency previously refused to support the Shopwyke Lakes site unless it included the removal of the Oving crossroads, with councillors at the meeting concerned with the overall impact this would have on the A27, especially with the new junctions.

Sidlesham’s Tricia Tull said: “I don’t think anybody here is happy about this. I’ve always been concerned that you’ve got a spinal road coming off the A27. I think the whole thing is a mess and I don’t want to participate in a decision that I don’t comprehend.”

However, 15 members of the committee felt they had no grounds to refuse the plan and it was voted through, with three abstentions.

“We’re very much tied to the decision this committee took in 2013. We’re hamstrung with the way the planning system works,” said Tangmere district councillor Simon Oakley.

“We’re stuck with the fact that the A27 is controlled by a central government agency that we’ve no control over.”

The council had already given permission in essence for the Spine Road itself and so it could only comment on the specific design of the road in front of them.

West Sussex County Council strategic planner Dominic Smith assured the committee the road would be built to national standards.