IS IT any wonder that a recent report published in this paper highlighted the unusually high loss of businesses from the Chichester area?
The city increases its notoriety as a place to avoid with every traffic report, carried on local and national radio, which report flooding on the A27 at Chichester and long delays.
No-one can deny Chichester suffers road delays and gridlock to its traffic system: a bypass, that can’t cope with traffic approaching from north, south, east, west; road traffic problems which are aggravated by a busy railway line, with only two road bridge crossings – the other three are level crossings, which subject road traffic to chaos for long periods of the day.
It is our councillors who should ‘try again’ when they contemplate giving approval to an expansion scheme for Chichester College, for 200 students which reduces existing car parking spaces by 35. No approval should be considered for schemes which ignore or aggravate the traffic and parking chaos in Chichester.
The three major car parks at Southgate, Northgate and the Market draw traffic into the city. Where are Chichester’s out-of-city car parks? A visit to Winchester’s relatively new out-of-city car park is a fine example of what can be done by councils not content to ignore problems.
Every new house built south of the A27 adds considerably to the bypass problem. A proposal for another 100 homes in Donnington should only be considered if the development is linked to a substantial contribution by the developer to the construction of a flyover or underpass at the A27 Stockbridge roundabout.
If Chichester must continue to provide housing, which can only be for students or the retired, in view of the decline in employment opportunities, then we should look to moving our two high schools on to the periphery, rather than approving re-development on the present school site.
Moving sports clubs into the green belt gaps has happened in Bournemouth, Southampton and elsewhere, freeing up urban land for housing. Why isn’t Chichester considering similar schemes? What was the thinking behind allowing a university to develop on a site hardly adequate for the teaching college which had previously existed in College Lane?
When the next opportunity arises residents should ask who their elected representatives are actually serving, and vote accordingly.
Summersdale and Lavant should be preserved as easily identifiable, separate communities. Recent social history shows that where individuals are unable to identify with their community, an increase in crime and social disintegration results.
To undermine the character of separate communities is an insult to all those stalwarts in our communities, who have, and continue to, contribute to the healthy communities of Lavant and Summerdsale.