LETTER: We must fight for village beauty
Jenny Mouland reveals on page 4 of the February 25 Observer that Dick Pratt (chairman of the Bosham Association) was furious that the independent inspector appointed to assess the Bosham neighbourhood plan had thrown out our housing proposals. I am even more furious that he was furious.
Janet Cheesely’s report is the first time that the fact that the planned housing area in Bosham is within the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been acknowledged, which, as she says, is the overriding factor to be taken into account in assessing this plan.
I have always been annoyed that the Harbour Conservancy who are the custodians of the AONB never protested at the plan as finally put forward; nor did they try to prevent the hospice from being built (totally out of keeping with this historic village with its even older crypt) and King Harold who had his palace here and sailed from here to France and some of whose bones are thought by some to be buried here; there is also the site of the old monastery which thankfully has not been built on.
I understand it is now suggested we still have to find room for the same number of houses as originally proposed, some of which would have been on the hospice site; ridiculous – they want their cake and also to eat it.
If we have to have more housing put it at the northern end of Highgrove Farm, which is outside the AONB, with ready made access from Brooks Lane, easy access to the shops at Broadbridge and where the small group of existing houses appear quite small when viewed from the A259.
Bosham provides little local employment so the occupants of any new housing need to travel north, east or west to find employment, as do all the extra residents in and around Chichester.
Our industry is tourism and to maintain this, we must protect its beauty at all costs, both within the village and the beautiful walks around the harbour, including the views of Bosham across the water celebrated by so many artists.
Dick Pratt must look after the beauty of Bosham in his role as chairman of the Bosham Association, not criticise an inspector who is only doing what he should have fought to do.
As for the old shipyard site, I am sure that someone could think of something beautiful to do with the site which enhance tourists’ visits.
K. W. Newby