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Enough is Enough

The survival of the Chichester Harbour AONB remains under severe threat. Major planning applications are in process all around the boundary of the AONB. Just recently, the members of Chichester District Council’s planning committee deferred an application for a further 300 houses on greenfield land on the northern boundary of Chichester Harbour.

These developments are being recommended by planning officials, in the absence of a new Local Plan, despite the impact on landscape, wildlife, water quality, public health - and despite the complete lack of infrastructure to cope with these developments. Flooding, sewage pollution and traffic gridlock in recent weeks demonstrate that major new development is unsustainable. Common sense needs to prevail.

Recent statements on planning policy coming out of the new Westminster government - regarding the importance of preserving the environment and the importance of local democracy in planning decisions - are encouraging. However, in the Chichester district there is, as yet, little sign of this. The planning bureaucracy appears to support major developers who have little interest in the environment and appear determined to build on the most profitable greenfield sites.

John Nelson, Chair of Chichester Harbour Trust, said;

“ The arrival of a new administration in Westminster, local elections in May and a general election thereafter provides a perfect backdrop for our local communities to pull together NOW to force a change in policy on over-development, infrastructure and water quality.

Continuing to build on environmentally sensitive sites in large volumes will destroy Chichester Harbour and the surrounding areas of West Sussex. Chichester Harbour is fundamental to the local economy. It will have a devastating impact on local communities.

So, as Chair of the Chichester Harbour Trust, I call on all of us, starting now, to make it clear to our elected councillors and MPs that we will need to be certain as to the action they intend to take ahead of their respective elections.

We have been ill-served both by our local council and by our MPs over the last few years, despite all the warnings they have been given. We can all see the true state of our local environment. It is reassuring that the local and national media are now firmly on the case.

Now is the time to hold our councillors and our MPs to account. Enough is enough”

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