LETTER: Solent suburbia

THE Observer’s excellent coverage of the local plan public hearing contained evidence that should alarm us all.

From Southbourne to Fishbourne, developers were lining up to attack the district and all the parish councils for failing to plan for adequate housing numbers in their neighbourhood plans.

Their solution in each case was to ride roughshod over the views of the community which had shaped their neighbourhood plan and to ignore the requirements of the national planning policy framework whenever these got in their way.

Individually, they pose a threat to their community.

Together, they posed a threat to the whole area.

Villages from Fishbourne to Southbourne will not be merged in one stroke.

Solent Suburbia will not be created overnight: instead it will be the result of individual planning decisions as developers take the opportunity offered by the incomplete state of the district local plan and the parish neighbourhood plans to push ahead with their proposals for large developments up to five times the estimate in their neighbourhood plans.

The impact of any one decision about new building needs also to be set in context of other developments that will impact on the same infrastructure.

To take one example, the A259 approaching Fishbourne Roundabout would have its traffic flow increased not only by the additional traffic from the new housing in Fishbourne but also by that from Bosham, Chidham, Nutbourne, Westbourne and Southbourne.

It is particularly important that every piece of high quality farmland should be protected against development – not only because of the increasing demand for food but also because once one goes there will be a domino effect.

The rallying cry is sombre but simple. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

Geoff Hand


Fishbourne Parish Council