COUNCILLORS from Fishbourne have written a response to Chichester District Council setting out the reasons why they are objecting to 250 new homes in the parish.
The Fishbourne Neighbourhood Plan review group has raised its main concerns based on five reasons. These are:
- The lack of any declared criteria for what otherwise seems a purely arbitrary allocation taking no account of the local situation
- The impact of the proposed wildlife corridor on land in the eastern part of the village (Clay Lane)
- Policy on Bethwines Farm – there needs to be more openness, clarity and consistency about the district council’s view on Bethwines Farm
- Conflict between policies and practice (infrastructure and transport)
- Uncertainty about the A27
In the written response to the council, the group states: “We are aware of the requirement for revised neighbourhood plans to have made good progress by June, 2019, in order to demonstrate that the local plan review strategy can be delivered.
“Our work, however, is hindered by the unacceptable process by which the allocation of 250 additional homes for Fishbourne was made and the resultant confusion and traffic issues.”
Cllr Adrian Moss said: “As the elected district councillor for Fishbourne, I have attended all the meetings of the Fishbourne Plan review group which has been working on a new Fishbourne Plan and advising the parish council on the views of local residents.
“One major area of concern from the group was indeed how the 250 houses were allocated to Fishbourne. Indeed, people are of the view that Fishbourne cannot sustain 250 additional house, especially if the wildlife corridors are proposed on land that had been identified as potential development land.
“There is no criteria for proposing 250. It appears an arbitrary number.
“The group are of the view that the council has not taken into account their views in putting forward the local plan review despite the village working closely with the district council over many years.
“In fact, the review flies in the face of the neighbourhood plan that the village prepared only recently.”
ChiCycle, Chichester’s Cycle Campaign, has greeted the local plan review with caution.
The group states that walking and cycling should be put at the top of the list according to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence whereas the measures listed in the local plan are vague and often down the bottom of the list.
Institute statistics reveal that physical inactivity is responsible for one in six deaths and one in four adults are obese in the UK.
Sarah Sharp, co-ordinator of ChiCycle, said: “We need to prioritise other means of getting around not always the car.
“Cycle paths are mentioned in the Local Plan but it doesn’t spell out what we mean by this – painted lines on the road are not going to deliver the modal shift we need.”