FURTHER to your letters and comments on the old Portfield football ground development, I attended the planning meeting and would like to add my thoughts.
This was my first experience of local democracy and I was disgusted by what I saw. It was a foregone conclusion that it would be passed. One councillor even said she knew it was too dense but they ‘got into trouble for objecting last time’.
Another said as it was passed five years ago then that meant she ‘had to’ vote for it again. One wonders why any of us bothered turning up if our councillors have no choice in what they vote for. Why don’t we just let the planning officers decide and save time?
The planning committee themselves have admitted what is planned is too dense with no open space, poor parking and awful access. If there is one thing Westhampnett Road does not need it’s a fourth mini-roundabout within 100 yards! One councillor actually said she would pass it but hoped any developer would read their comments and reduce the density! As if a developer is going to be less greedy than our own council.
The truth is they own the land and can grant themselves planning and wanted to make as much money as they could from it. They have no interest in the local community, the green space lost or even the poor people who will have to live there.
They have been very generous with money they anticipate making from this site, particularly lavishing money on Oaklands Park to the north of Chichester.
Sadly, there is no money or space even for a set of swings for the 80 homes they will build on this site. Apparently our local authority believe people to the east of the city do not need green open space or places for our children to play.