Time to face the music

THE PLANNING inspector has dismissed the appeal by Madestein for building 52 acres of glasshouses in Almodington.

Her overall conclusion was that the development would conflict with the local plan and would cause a damaging change in the character and appearance of the locality.

She quoted the need to protect and enhance the open countryside and its landscape features.

She also adversely commented on the safety aspects of the access roads and stated that the increased traffic would unacceptably diminish the living conditions of nearby properties.

Now the following people, whose action, or inaction, conflicted with the inspector’s report, need to ‘consider their positions’:

1 The Chichester District Council (CDC) planning officers who wrongly recommended granting planning permission at the committee meeting in March 2011.

2 The planning officers and councillors of the county council who failed to object on Highways grounds to the use and enlargement of rural access roads. Nor was there any comment on the prospect of environmental damage to the area in general.

3 The Environment Agency officials for insisting on a too narrow interpretation of their function which prevented their making any adverse comments on the obvious overall damage to the locality, including the Medmerry realignment.

4 English Nature activists, whose narrow interpretation of their job seems to have prevented them from adversely commenting on any environmental aspect whatever of the most potentially damaging proposal locally experienced, including the virtual destruction of two valuable country lanes.

It is clear the CDC councillors, who courageously took the risk of disagreeing with their planning officers and refused planning permission, need to be strongly congratulated.

If they had granted planning permission we would now see the first of many glasshouses up and functioning.

Richard Hill

Highleigh, Chichester