LETTER: Is it '˜profit before people'?
On Friday the 11th, the CDC planning committee approved phase one of the Whitehouse farm development by Linden and Miller homes.
Phase 1 is to build 750 houses – however, the only access to the site by construction traffic will be a new roundabout at the end of Brandy hole lane and St Paul’s Road.
This therefore means that for around 18 months to two years construction traffic, to the tune of 200 lorries a day, will be travelling up and down St Paul’s Road around the north gyratory and up and down Orchard Street.
At the last three planning meetings, representatives of thousands of Chichester residents argued that this development should not proceed unless a southern access is developed first,
thus avoiding this huge movement of construction traffic.
They cited the fact that this traffic will cause further congestion, further pollution and pass various schools and therefore was unsafe and will endanger Chichester residents and children in the area.
Initially the developers were only going to provide the southern access after the 751st house was occupied however public pressure led them to commit, not legally, to have the southern access available to construction traffic after the 125th house is occupied.
The planning meeting was deferred twice for further negotiation however the developers made it clear to CDC that should it be deferred again they would go to appeal.
On the basis of that threat and with no real reasoning by the developers for not implementing the southern access any earlier, other than it was not cost effective and could threaten the viability of the scheme, our esteemed councillors rolled over and gave their approval.
As a final caveat, the developers are not legally bound to implement the southern access any earlier than the 751st house so it is possible that construction traffic could be using the same route for the duration
of the whole of phase 1.
The full development, in two phases, is for 1,600 homes, if the average price is £300,000 then the total sales value would be nearly half a billion pounds, surely a little of this could have been used to provide a southern access and relieve residents of years of disruption and pollution?
But no, Linden and Miller homes do not care one jot about Chichester or its residents, they are only interested in profit and let no-one think otherwise.
This is once again profit before people.
The elected councillors should hang their heads in shame.