Destroy the future

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WHY preserve the past in order to destroy the future?

Monday, November 14, in the year of our Lord 2011, the South Downs National Park Authority approved the sixth (or was it 16th?) planning application for the conversion of King Edward VII to a new town in future to be called Darkest Hour or SDNPA Folly in the face of overwhelming opposition from local residents. It speaks well of democracy when an unelected quango can go against such opposition with such callous disregard for public opinion.

This comes after a government statement that… ‘development takes place in the public interest, in economically, sociably and environmentally sustainable ways’.

The government has promised… ‘to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live’.

So now we have to live with frequent interruption in water supply and electricity and perhaps other utilities.

In spite of objections from all local parish councils, every community within a 15-mile radius will feel the detrimental effect. These are as follows:

1 The King Edward site has only ONE entrance and exit and a very narrow one at that. What happens if one of the many old trees comes down in a winter storm? How are emergency services to get to the elderly?

2 The Bellamy Roberts Travel Plan is riddled with inaccuracies. For example ‘… the site is accessed via Kings Drive… approximately 5.5m wide’. WRONG. In places eg West Heath it is 4m wide and there are many others.

All cannot be classified as approximate. Another is paragraph 3.5. It … ‘meets the A286 at a SIMPLE priority crossing’.

Believe me it is NOT simple. Sometimes you take your life in your hands, especially with traffic coming south through the dark cutting. Another, para3.7 mentions the 50mph speed limit. This is a joke because nobody takes any notice of it.

3 The developers claim is to put in cycle stands. Another sick joke. As a cyclist you take your life in your hands going down Kings Drive and especially the A286. So much for environmentally-sustainable!

All residents will I am sure dust off the Rolls and plonk it in North Street car park (which is already full during the week).

Midhurst residents YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

So once again we have a ‘public body’ ignoring interests of the local community and saving an ailing building, not fit for purpose, at all costs – in this case at the cost of 410 very expensive housing units.

It seems like the SDNPA is ignoring local opinion, ignoring the presence of an AONB, ignoring the proximity of an SSSI, ignoring the fact that it is a trustee of one of the nation’s greatest assets and what is worse, ignoring the environmental consequences of cats and dogs being introduced by the new arrivals – make no mistake people WILL have their pets.

Why do public bodies repeatedly make these mistakes.

Colin Chatfield,