LETTER: No place for an urban amenity

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I’m writing to express my huge relief that the proposed football club at Hop Oast will not be going ahead. I understand that football fans are keen to have a home but this was absolutely not the place for it.

I note those complaining about the decision in the January 29 issue do not live in the Hop Oast area and are not aware of its astounding beauty and importance for wildlife.

Having lived here for over half a century I have to tell you that it is not loved simply by ‘a privileged few’ horse riders! Indeed a wide range of people signed a petition against siting the club here.

While it is true that there is a petrol station, park and ride and amenity tip at Hop Oast, crucially all three are sandwiched between the bypass and the Worthing Road into Horsham and do not affect the Denne Park side of the road.

Step off the pavement onto this side and you will discover a beautiful stretch of fields, copses and ancient woodland stretching all the way to Chesworth. The golf course has been disruptive but is now quiet, unpolluted by floodlights with wildlife friendly trees, ponds and wildflower zones.

This is the midst of the rural gap, the middle of our precious countryside. There is absolutely no place for an urban amenity such as a football club here.

The inevitable noise, light pollution and traffic congestion would threaten the variety of species who live here, including humans who enjoy the ‘quiet and informal recreation’ for which this area is designated.

Living in walking distance to the park and ride I can also report that it is well used and would be unable to accommodate supporters. This would also be completely against purpose.

I understand that there is frustration at no home being provided for the football club but the Hop Oast area is entirely unsuitable. Surely the developers who are trashing other areas could be compelled to provide sports amenities where the countryside has already been destroyed?

For once I can thank the council for making the right decision and turning down this incongruous proposal.

Many thanks indeed for taking the time to read my letter.

LINDA BAKER

Worthing Road,

Southwater