LETTER: Not a real need

THE Observer is full of items about supposed ‘needs’ in our area, including new housing and a vastly expanded network of roads.

It’s true that the A27 and the A259 cannot cope with the amount of traffic they carry at present, and it’s true that there is a need for affordable and rented housing.

However, the majority of these so-called needs are based on projections and not facts.

The ‘needs’ are more the demands of certain sections rather than the needs of the local people.

Nowhere do we read about managing what we have. It’s always about providing more, and more, and more.

Any sensible person knows that you can’t go on expanding things for ever and it’s better to manage and use efficiently what you have.

As far as roads go, if the A27 is re-routed through ancient woodland at Arundel in order to carry a larger volume of traffic, it will quickly fill up again as people see that the journey is easier, for the time being, and more choose to drive rather than use the train.

Wouldn’t it be better to discourage car use, make the train cheaper and more reliable? The same goes for

the A259.

I wonder how many of those queuing up to get into Chichester, for work or leisure, would use the bus if it were cheap, or free?

The same with housing. Developers and central government tell us that there is an assessed need for thousands more homes near Chichester.

They do not look at managing this demand, by providing for those who truly need affordable and rented housing, and perhaps identifying the number of empty properties that could be brought be back into use.

They propose building large homes with few environmentally friendly features, on greenfield sites, with the lowest number of affordable homes, that they can get away with.

Those who can afford one of the proposed new homes appear well catered for in the property pages of the local press, yet apparently not enough to meet this ‘need’.

The only proposed solutions in both housing and transport, involve building over our green fields and through our ancient woodlands. I use the word ‘our’ because I believe they do not belong to developers to use as they please, to make profits, or to the government, but to all of us, and especially to future generations.

More roads are not the answer to transport problems, and estates of expensive houses are not the answer to those

who can’t afford to live where they have grown up, or where they work.

There are sustainable solutions but they will take time to develop.

Maybe businesses could manage their affairs so that they would not need to transport goods over such long distances, as in the example of salad crops being taken from the Chichester growers to a central depot and then brought back to local supermarkets.

There surely must be a more efficient way in terms of both energy and road use and there must be ways to reduce the need to travel.

Management of resources takes longer than quickly building new ones.

But in the long run it is much more sustainable and we should all be aiming at a sustainable future and not one of lurching from one crisis to another.

Stephanie Carn

Whyke Road