Fishbourne, not Ford

I WRITE regarding the suggestion made by Chichester City Council that a new town could be built at Ford to ease housing pressures in Chichester.

Whilst I understand that these comments were made by the City Council as an alternative suggestion to that being proposed by the Chichester District Council as part of their public consultation on the Chichester District Core Strategy I can categorically dismiss such suggestions and assure readers with absolute certainty that there are no plans for development of this nature at Ford.

There has been no approach to Arun from Chichester City Council (the local parish council) about these ideas. Indeed, it was surprising and alarming news to me when I read it. Bluntly, we would simply not entertain such an idea. Chichester’s problems are down to Chichester to resolve within their boundaries.

Off-loading one district’s housing needs on to a neighbouring district which has its own infrastructure deficit problems is no way to address the issue. Perhaps a new town in the Fishbourne area would help solve Chichester’s difficulties.

Arun has significant housing pressures of its own to address. We are committed to delivering more affordable homes through our pioneering Housing Strategy Raise the Roof and have achieved real successes over the last 12 months despite the economic backdrop.

Early next year the council will go out to public consultation with its Local Development Framework – a blueprint of where we see development over the coming years. Ford is not included as an option.

Every resident across Arun can and should have their say on this document.

While I appreciate and understand the pressures on councils to meet housing targets and deliver more affordable homes, this suggestion is unhelpful. And not feasible.

We had an Eco Town Select Committee which reviewed every aspect of the proposal put forward for Ford and concluded it was not viable and therefore our opinion on development at this location remains unchanged.

Cllr Ricky Bower,

Arun Cabinet Member for Planning.

South View, East Preston