LETTER: Where is reason and rationale?

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One can only despair! Has the world lost all sense of reason and rationale? Take the case of the controversial application by Wates to build 102 houses on the periphery of Storrington. Two concerns have apparently been addressed to the satisfaction of both Wates and HDC Planning: an agreement of `common ground’ between the parties on the subject of air quality and pedestrian traffic between the development site and town centre.

Take air quality- the pollution levels are currently 40 per cent above EU limits. The solution: to provide travel packs, bicycle parking, electric charging points, bus passes and encouragement to walk and car share. Do they live in the real world? Do they believe that a busy household is going to take half an hour walking when they can nip to town in the car. Do they believe people will car share? Do they believe the majority will cycle? Do they believe that people will buy electric cars in the foreseeable future (have you ever seen the existing charging points in use)? Do they really believe that declaring a `Low Emission Zone’ will make a fig of difference?

This survey and technical analysis must have cost Wates a bomb, which means they know that their case is thin. Surely common sense would have saved them the trouble: one simply needs to observe and consider demonstrated public behaviour. Above all: the pollution levels are currently 40 per cent above acceptable levels, residents’, retail staff and shoppers’ health is already being adversely affected. How can any increase, however small be okay by the authorities? The accent surely must be on reducing the traffic not on satisfying the strategic plan or Wates’ bank balance.

Besides, is attracting more folk into a polluted zone responsible?

Howard Brunt

Melton Drive, Storrington