LETTER: Objections to development

IN RESPONSE to the two articles in the County Times of December 15 on page 13 regarding the highly controversial plans for large scale development in the Pulborough countryside, I felt it was my duty to take up pen and paper once more to present the existing community’s side of the argument.

In the first article, entitled ‘Proposal will benefit village’, it is stated by the developers that the plans will provide ‘significant benefits to residents in the area’ by the provisions of an allegedly safer A29 footpath and a contribution to a proposed A29 footbridge.

What they fail to mention is that the ‘safer footpath’ will actually result in the removal of many trees, thus making the earthen embankment unstable and prone to erosion and landslides; it will damage trees in the existing gardens making them unsafe and the highly dangerous access point to the site, just a few metres north of the A29 rail bridge, will have to cut through both the proposed footpath and the existing footpath (which residents have been using for decades without any problems) and force pedestrians to cross the road at a junction on a blind spot. How is this safe?

And as for the contribution to the new bridge, it was stated that £200,000-£250,000 will be handed over towards the estimated £600,000 minimum required and that it is expected that West Sussex County Council will make up the shortfall!

What the developers also conveniently fail to mention is all the problems with the flawed sewerage system that floods parts of the village with raw effluence, the high levels of air pollution, the severe congestion from the existing traffic and the numerous other problems that are too many to mention in this letter.

How can developers dictate to people who actually reside in the area and thus have local knowledge of the realities of the situation about what they do and do not want? I’m sure their position would be very different if a large sprawling urban mass was planned for the areas in which they live!

The second article ‘Empty homes reason for parish council objection’, further demonstrates that developers have little – if any – regard for the views and opinions of the local community. I should point out here that it IS the local community objecting to this proposal with a 97 per cent objection rate to date, and NOT just a handful of disgruntled residents.

Pulborough Parish Council was absolutely correct in objecting (three against, zero support and one abstention) to the plans on grounds of the huge number of empty homes (approx 400) and the large amount currently being built (259), amongst other points. Yet the developers insist that Pulborough needs more houses!

Horsham district has slightly more than a five year housing supply under the adopted Core Strategy, so why do we need more houses in Pulborough, particularly with three developments permitted in 2011 alone?

The number of affordable housing being built currently is enough to cater for the 82 local people identified and so this latest proposal is not to provide for the community but it is nothing but opportunistic over-development of the countryside to benefit no one but the developers themselves.

Let’s hope that the HDC planning committee will decide to take the precedent set by Pulborough Parish Council and decide to represent the people of Pulborough by voting to object to DC/11/0952.

MARTIN DALE

Secretary, The Campaign to Protect Rural Pulborough Village

Stane Street Close, Codmore Hill, Pulborough