LETTER: Tell me what has changed

Congratulations to Colin Hamilton on his letter regarding Pagham and Bersted housing.

I am sure he will not mind if I add a couple of ‘historical’ facts which I have unearthed.

They date back to the previous public enquiry on Hook Lane which could easily apply to all major housing proposals.

1. Letter from West Sussex County Council (21st April 1999) signed by Mr, John Mills (Archaeologist): “Recommendation – No development shall take place on the site until the applicant has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

Has this been done by any of the applicants? Pagham Road, Sefter Road and once again Hook Lane

2. Letter from Portsmouth Water 9th March 1999: “I would advise you (ADC) that the company’s distribution network within this area is fully committed.

“Therefore, for any development within this area the company (ie Portsmouth Water) will require any off-site main to be laid from (i) the company’s 600mm main at Lagness along the Pagham Rd to the site or (ii) from the company’s main in Chalcraft Lane, along Hewarts Lane and Rose Green Rd to the proposed development. Of course, the cost of laying the off site main will be at the developer’s cost.

Any change there?

3. West Sussex Health Authority 12th April 1999: “... the Rose Green Surgery would be the nearest practice to the development and is already stretched beyond capacity”.

Since the submission of that letter, a severe shortage of medical staff caused the Arthur Griffiths clinic in Pagham (a branch of Rose Green surgery) to remain unused for a long period with a resultant inconvenience to existing patients.

The Health Authority letter concludes by requesting refusal of the planning application due to the limited provision for general medical services in the area.

So much for housing the needy with an additional 4,500 homes in an area which is constantly trying to cope with having too few doctors already.

I have over 200 pages of evidence pertaining to the 1999 public enquiry into the Hook Lane proposal, but while almost two decades is a long time ago, most of the evidence holds good in 2017 only government policy has changed – albeit for the worse.

Geoffrey King

Oaktree Close, Mill Farm