Finite resource of Southwater

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SO THE chairman of Southwater Parish Council asserts that the village ‘needs’ a new academy (County Times, June 23). What absolute, utter nonsense!

What Southwater needs is a parish council leader who will accept the view of not only the majority of his council and indeed the people of Southwater and who will represent us, as a leader, to fight what has been described as an iniquitous proposal to destroy this village instead of being carried away by his previous experience in the educational field.

He states ‘We must give our children and grandchildren at least something good to remember us rather than a mountain of debt, a dire lack of housing and outrageous tuition fees to name but a few of the problems created for them’.

Well, the debt and the tuition fees are central government issues and a glance at last week’s property section of the County Times reveals nearly 400 homes for sale or rent so we are not exactly short of homes either - especially when you consider that the WSCT property pages do not list ALL the homes available in the area and does not include other proposed and approved developments in the Horsham area.

We are not talking about a few extra houses on the periphery of the village. We are talking about ripping the heart out of this community and destroying farmland.

Mr Bull has a vision driven by his background - but I would urge him to lift his eyes even further and consider another vision of the inheritance of our children and grandchildren, if the development proposals and others like it, go through.

Asia is awakening, developing their own technological, industrial and financial expertise and their people, understandably, aspire to the same standard of living that we have in the west. The time for world-wide sourcing of our food is beginning to run out and land is a finite resource.

The next generation will, almost certainly, face conflict over food, mineral, energy and water resources.

We have to be very aware of this and in the context of massive changes in the world-wide political, economic and climate balance, we should be nurturing our limited farmland (all of UK agricultural output would feed only London) - not building on it. We really do need to ‘get real’.

The legacy we should be leaving our children and grandchildren is the ability to grow the majority of our own food and not destroying the farmland that produces it!




Editor’s note: Tony Bull, chairman of Southwater Parish Council, has made clear that he was speaking in a personal capacity when quoted in the County Times of June 23.