It is with consternation and disbelief we have learnt of the proposals still being ‘considered’ by Chichester District Council for the development Whitehouse Farm.
This proposal is talking about the provision of ‘up to 2,000 homes’ on the site.
At this time we already have the Graylingwell project going ahead providing 750 homes, and the redevelopment of the Roussillon Barracks providing 350 homes.
There are also a number of smaller housing projects in progress.
Thus, in the immediate Chichester area, there is a total provision of about 1,200 homes currently under way or shortly to be so.
Is that not sufficient ‘housing provision’ for the medium to long term?
Turning to the Whitehouse Farm proposals :
1 The boundary of Chichester’s built-up area to the west has always been understood to be Centurion Way, the line of the old Midhurst railway. This development will blatantly breach this boundary.
2 Shortage of housing?
We cannot see much sign of all the people living out on the streets of Chichester due to lack of housing.
There may be some ‘overcrowding’ in properties in some cities but certainly not to any significant extent in Chichester or in the immediate area.
There may be a number of people living in hostels due to lack of housing, but the types and quantity of housing development proposed above do not cater for this section of the community.
3 Two thousand homes means about conservatively about 3,000 persons of working age who will be occupying these houses.
It is reasonable to assume most of this new population will be wanting to work... where are the jobs going to come from?
There does not seem to be much prospect of any large companies coming into the area to create this number of jobs.
4 Realistically each of the families in these houses will have one or more cars, so there will be an extra 2,000- 3,000 cars on our local roads.
If any studies of the traffic levels on St Paul’s Road and Old Broyle Road had been done, the current level of congestion will have been appreciated. This road link is used as a rat run to and through Chichester.
The main reason it is so busy is there is no junction on the A27 between Emsworth and Chichester.
Is there a proposal to introduce a new junction direct on to this section of the A27 as part of the scheme?
If not then the congestion will be even worse than it is now.
5 What is proposed as far as ‘improvements’ to infrastructure are concerned?
How is the necessary increase in school, hospital and leisure capacity going to be achieved?
What footpaths and cycleways are proposed as part of the scheme?
Presumably cycling will be encouraged as it is now national policy.
A huge development such as this cannot be justified without the accompanying upgrade in the socio-infrastructure.
6 You will be destroying farmland at a time when local produce is becoming more and more important.
It is government policy to encourage local food production and reduce ‘food miles’.
There is also the fact we need to try and become more, not less, self-sufficient in foodstuffs as a nation.
Destroying productive farmland cannot be right.
At the same time valuable wildlife habitat will also be destroyed.
This again goes directly against government policy.
7 Part of the scheme proposes an area of ‘open space’ to the northwest of the site.
How well protected will that be in terms of remaining open space?
You can be sure this area will be targeted for further housing as soon as enough pressure is exerted by either the house-builders or government be it central or local.
What is the council trying to do to Chichester?
Turn it into a faceless urban sprawl like so many of our towns and cities already are?
A development such as this will certainly go a long way to achieving this.
Being our local newspaper, we look forward to your support in trying to persuade the CDC to understand the importance of retaining the character of Chichester and proposing gradual improvement rather than its destruction by implementing this huge, and totally out-of-scale, development.
Robert and Greta Pasteiner
Old Broyle Road