New homes? Planners need to go back to the drawing board

I was one of many hundreds of people who attended a meeting at Fontwell race course chaired by Nick Herbert Arundel MP concerning the supposed requirement of thousands of new homes in the Eastergate area on the coastal plain.

Whatever decision is made I feel that geography is the first consideration and this seems to have largely been overlooked.

Sluice gates are sometimes shut for half a day from 2 tides stopping outward flow of water from fields and streams and the Arun flows upstream almost to Pallingham lock on high spring tides. When rainfall is heavy flooding can accumulate very rapidly.

The arctic ice cap has melted faster this year than expected and way ahead of scientific predictions. It seems to me that building anywhere near the sea when climate change appears to be occurring in ways and at rates that cannot currently be predicated is not a very good idea.

The south of England enjoys the longest daylight lengths in the country so to build on prime agricultural land when bio security has been acknowledged to be increasingly important seems to be ill advised.

Housing estates seem to be built providing large numbers of very expensive homes, many of which are currently empty.

Surely it would be better to set up a database inviting responses from those in the community who actually need accommodation so that first time buyers and single people can rent or buy in these areas within range of work or facilities if care is needed and not allow builders to build what will maximise their profit.

If shared purchase or rent schemes are provided only zero rated energy housing should be allowed since those on low incomes have the greatest need for energy efficiency and the housing needs for this area should be based on actual need and not a top down dictate from central government and should take account of the fact that we have severe water problems; two much extraction in drought and not sufficient resources to cope in times of heavy rainfall.

Southern Water appears to need to look again at what it offers to its customers as the beleaguered residents of Littlehampton and Felpham have discovered over recent years to their distress and cost. Simply tacking on to the existing overloaded systems is not an answer.

Planners please go back to the drawing board, as much more robust systems need to be in place for the future taking account of the fact that so many freak events have taken place over the last 30 years a much wider margin needs to be built in to housing and water resource planning.

Carolyn Coles