Manhood parishes call on Chichester MP to back housing action campaign and declare the area ‘full’

Sidlesham is known for its tidal mudflats, which attract thousands of birds. Picture: Kate Shemilt KS190122-9
Sidlesham is known for its tidal mudflats, which attract thousands of birds. Picture: Kate Shemilt KS190122-9

Residents on the Manhood Peninsula are calling for the area to be declared ‘full’, to protect the tourist industry.

The Manhood Parishes Action Group has called on Chichester MP Gillian Keegan to address the housing allocation issue in Parliament.

Hunston Parish Council chairman Joan Foster, speaking on behalf of the group, wrote to Mrs Keegan, saying: “We do not think it helpful to juggle the housing allocations, rather we ask that you represent us by demonstrating that this small area is effectively full.

“Our slogan is 193 houses, not 1,933 houses. We support reasonable growth but not saturation.”

The action group includes representatives from Apuldram, Birdham, Donnington, Earnley, Hunston, North Mundham, Sidlesham and West Wittering.

They have been corresponding with Mrs Keegan over the Chichester Local Plan Review.

In a letter to the MP, the group said: “I would like to pick up on your point that you are not personally involved in planning, which we completely understand.

“However, Government sets the housing numbers and therein lies your responsibility as our MP. We believe that the allocation to Chichester District disregarded local circumstances.

“Large parts of the District are in specially protected sites, such as the South Downs National Park, Chichester Harbour AONB (RAMSAR, SSI), Pagham Harbour SPA and Medmerry Designated SPA. In addition, areas are under increased risk of flooding.

“We would ask you to address this for us in Government. Trying to squeeze 1,933 houses into the Manhood Peninsula is not feasible. The current road infrastructure will not support it and of course, neither will the A27.”

The group strongly believes the only solution to the traffic gridlock on the Manhood Peninsula is a northern bypass for the A27.

Members strongly believe the Draft Local Plan could cause gridlock for decades.

The letter continued: “We need to protect the tourist industry on the Peninsula, which contributes £141million to the District’s GVA and employs 2,700 people.

“Urbanisation of the Manhood will destroy the rural and seaside environment the visitors seek and ineffective tinkering with the current A27 will make it impossible to reach.”