Bognor will see no benefit from A29 realignment scheme

The current A259. Photo by Derek Martin
The current A259. Photo by Derek Martin

This scheme will deliver no benefit to Bognor Regis and Arun in general.

The proposed road will have seven roundabouts between its start at Fontwell and its end at Lidsey.

You only have to look at the roundabouts on the Chichester bypass to see what is proposed is not going to save any time or move the traffic any faster than it is at the moment.

This whole scheme is just to facilitate developers who want to build 3,000 (now 4,000 plus) new houses on Manor farm land that Arun council has marked as a strategic development site.

I wonder if West Sussex county council and Arun council took Paragraph: 026 Reference ID: 8-026-20140306 of the Guidance Natural environment into account when choosing this land for development?

“How can planning take account of the quality of agricultural land?

The National Planning Policy Framework expects local planning authorities to take into account the economic and other benefits of the best and most versatile agricultural land.

This is particularly important in plan making when decisions are made on which land should be allocated for development. Where significant development of agricultural land is demonstrated to be necessary, local planning authorities should seek to use areas of poorer quality land in preference to that of a higher quality.

The Agricultural Land Classification provides a method for assessing the quality of farmland to enable informed choices to be made about its future use within the planning system.

Natural England provides further information on Agricultural Land Classification. The Agricultural Land Classification system classifies land into 5 grades, with Grade 3 subdivided into sub-grades 3a and 3b. The best and most versatile land is defined as Grades 1, 2 and 3a and is the land which is most flexible, productive and efficient in response to inputs and which can best deliver food and non food crops for future generations.”

Nobody from Arun council at the public exhibition at Eastergate hall could explain why Manor farm was earmarked for development.

The land is grade one and two arable, some of the most productive farm land in the country.

With the UK about to leave the EU this type of land will be needed for the UK’s food security.

Land that has been listed as Grade 1 arable should not be built on according to central government.

So why are West Sussex and Arun councils so keen to build on this land when are enough brown field sites available.

This land is too important for all our futures to be built on.

If you feel as strong about this land as I do, please let your councillor and MP know your feelings.

Peter Byrne, Church Lane, Eastergate