LETTER: A wake-up call

PLANNING issues, both at the micro and macro level, are well to the forefront in the Chichester district at present.

Truly worrying possible scenarios for individual householders have been allowed to develop within our own local planning processes (as evidenced by the letter concerning properties 92-96 Orchard Street published last week) and within the wider national planning framework which will affect how the proposed developments surrounding Chichester go forward.

In 2009, Chichester City Council published a prescient, forward-looking report for the area Towards a vision for Chichester.

Emphasis was made on the development of brownfield sites before building on agricultural land; that future developments must highlight cycling, walking and enhanced public transport as preferred methods, certainly for local journeys and that all buildings should be built to minimal sustainable, environmentally-responsible standards.

At the consultation stage for the local plan much of this intelligent, balanced response to meet development need was carried through.

How unfortunate it is then, that the closer we get to the ‘final’ plan (as evidenced at district level) the more environmental and community responsibility is cast aside seemingly in favour of what the developer envisages.

This is already happening on the Graylingwell site. The developers re-work and re-submit plans as the project goes forward.

Space for promised allotments has been forfeited, the community hall has been lost and a proposal for a four-storey block of flats has been submitted.

This was never in the original submission! Similar issues will arise as these other developments go forward, even if they do start out with community and environmental responsibility!

Those ‘stalag’-style blocks of flats, seemingly constructed with sub-standard materials on the former Barracks site should really serve as a wake-up call in respect of developments coming forward for the district.

Polly Gee

St Paul’s Road

Chichester