Ten years and still not listening!

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In one month our family will have lived in Southwater for ten years. Open space, a village environment, safety, schools for the growing children and glorious farmland where we can walk and appreciate the beauty of this part of Sussex.

The children are now young adults and on to the next stage of education, their younger years spent in a place of relative safety and security.

The day we moved in, a windy autumn day in 2002, we found a leaflet on the doorstep seeking help to defend plans to build houses on the farmland in Southwater. In the last ten years we have joined others to make our views known no less than six times.

What is a factor of Southwater life is the need to constantly have to fear its demise along with the need to repeatedly inform local council, government, developers, whoever, as it appears, will not listen.

Southwater wholeheartedly does not support housing and building on our precious farmland. We have been asked several times we always answer the same, No.

I have long thought the most efficient way to create exasperation in someone is to ignore them. That the experience here, repeatedly being asked opinion and then when the answer is delivered, ask again and then again.

I recall on one occasion the result of a questionnaire was that ‘we had not understood the question’. The fact was we had not given the answer that was wanted.

It now appears the latest development plans have been put to HDC in a ‘private meeting’. Clearly a new approach from HDC, we ask, don’t like the answer so this time we will not even ask.

The latest plans have the usual bribes and nonsense promises from drainage, roundabouts, schools, leisure facilities and the list goes on.

As an alternative plan the developers and HDC could look again at the ongoing and continued message from the vast majority of Southwater residents.

Do not build on the farmland in Southwater, you have asked repeatedly, the answer has been given repeatedly, it is not wanted or needed.

DAVID CLIFFORD

Fletchers, Southwater