Consultation on housing in Chichester was not a meaningful one

Your letters to the newspaper
Your letters to the newspaper

Once again there is much in the local news about concerns for the large amount of housing proposed for the district by the Government.

Chichester District Council appear to have accepted the number and allocated housing to local parish areas using some questionable rationale, and this approach appears to have been supported by our district councillors acting on our behalf.

Chichester DC then organised a consultation on their proposals and invited comments from local residents. It would appear that this consultation came with a caveat that if the housing numbers proposed were not accepted by each parish and its residents then even greater numbers could be built by developers let loose by the Government.

This does not seem to adhere to the definition of a meaningful consultation.

The consultation appears however to be saying that you will have the number of houses allocated but you may be given the chance to say where you want them.

Understandably many people feel the consultation process should have been undertaken before any proposals made and that any comments now made against the numbers proposed will be dismissed with little or no change.

Although perhaps a bit late I would like to propose an alternative to the Government and Chichester District Councils requirements. My simple proposal is: “That no parish should be required to accept more than ten per cent new housing above that existing and for which full planning approval has already been granted, and for the duration of the local plan. In addition there should be a housing hierarchy in favour of genuine affordable homes, retirement homes, and finally three and four bedroom family homes.”

This proposal should ensure the impact on local services such as schools, doctors, dentists, police etc can be managed, and the impact on the environment could be much better controlled which would hopefully help allay some of the understandable environmental concerns and fears of young people.

However I understand that the chance of this proposal being accepted is remote and I feel the only recourse is for a legal challenge to the way Chichester DC has handled this.

Richard Weavis, The Avenue, Hambrook