I RECENTLY attended a hearing of the examination of the Chichester local plan.
Various speakers from the councils and the developers talked about ‘objectively assessed needs’, ‘transport models’, and ‘mitigation’, terms which seem designed to make the proceedings as opaque as possible.
Only when Richard Plowman spoke on behalf of Chichester City Council did I hear anything about real houses, real people, the environment and what makes our city special.
The rest of the proceedings concerned themselves with models and testing, in other words totally theoretical areas.
The assessment of housing need, I believe, has been made without any assessment of empty or under-used properties in
Apparently, these figures are not relevant and may not even be available.
I would have thought that before quantifying what we needed, we should look at what we already have and aren’t using properly.
Most people think that need would mean those without a home of their own, that is people on the waiting list for social housing.
Apparently, it means the numbers of people who would like to live here, mainly retirees who think Chichester would be a nice place
Of course it’s a nice place to live, but it won’t be for much longer if we continue to add to urban sprawl.
We might as well call the area A27 city if we continue to allow developments both east and west of the city and join Fishbourne to Tangmere.
On May 7, there will be local and national elections at which we will have the opportunity to change the government.
Since the figures for the numbers of houses that must be provided are dictated by central government, and are hardly opposed by local government who are all of the same political party, maybe people will at last wake up to why our local environment is in the process of being urbanised.
I have joined the Green Party, which is opposed to unfettered development led by developer greed rather than real housing need. Residents might find it interesting to ask what their favoured party has to say on the subject of concreting over our green fields while at the same time doing almost nothing to provide proper social housing for those in real need.