SOSCA'S CALL TO 'MAKE THE DIFFERENCE'
Today we are asking for your support and help.
Currently Chichester has no Local Plan which will provide developers with a golden opportunity to build where they want, ‘Open Season for Developers’. Our historic City, magnificent coastal areas and environmentally sensitive areas such as Chichester and Pagham Harbours are at risk as never before.
Put simply, Chichester could be changed for ever.
Below is our statement on the situation; we need your help now. Please read and if you support we ask you to sign our petition. The more groups, such as yourselves, that supports us adds weight to our argument and campaign. It will help us lobby the MPS so they can raise the issue in Westminster.
Together we can Make the Difference by raising the issues we believe in.
Chichester District Council and Government need to face the reality of nature and listen to science to ensure the district develops according to the National Planning Policy Framework’s ethos of sustainability.
With over 70% of CDC’s area occupied by the South Downs National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is a presumption that the remaining 30% of its land is available to accommodate a housing quota handed down by central government. But that allocation fails to take into account the reality that Chichester’s low lying coastal plain will face the full impact of climate change within the next few decades, with sea level rise threatening the safety of residents and coastal squeeze threatening the district’s wetlands and wildlife.
Left without a local plan in place and a reluctance by government to fully accept predicted sea level rise, residents face the prospect of unplanned, unsustainable and speculative housing sprawl across the whole southern part of the district.
By trying to squeeze thousands of new homes in a small and vulnerable area, the safety and distinctiveness of our settlements and environment are at stake with a perfect storm of flood risk, habitat fragmentation and inadequate infrastructure.
Large, uniform housing developments threaten to change the character of the area. They undermine community cohesiveness, reduce the area’s resilience and ability to adapt to climate change, undermine our important agriculture, horticulture and tourism economies and threaten the area’s internationally recognised biodiversity.
Paying lip-service to ‘walkability’, ‘cyclability’, ‘sustainability’, ‘localism’ and ‘climate change’ is not good enough.
We need to be guided by science, fix our broken planning system and provide a safe and better future for our communities, environment and economy.
Whilst we recognise a need for social and genuine affordable housing we do not see a further need for ‘market sale’ housing given the substantial number already approved. Building houses in areas likely to regularly flood in the second half of this century is not only irrational, it is also immoral. ‘Buyer Beware’ may be the watchword of the market spiv: it should not be the motto of responsible government and councillors.