Bersted’s residents are in favour of open space being retained

HUNDREDS of Bersted residents want the gap with Chichester to be kept.

A decisive 97 per cent of householders in a survey carried out by Bersted Parish Council backed the retention of the strategic gap which separates it from the cathedral city.

The response saw 334 people back the open space and just nine oppose it.

Similarly strong responses were given to two issues which surround the portion of the Bognor Regis relief road about to arc around the parish’s northern half.

A vote of 331-5 was recorded to a question about ensuring land south of the road does not become a no man’s land and a magnet for fly tipping.

Another vote saw an outcome of 300-8 wanting to ensure the conservation area around North Bersted Street is unaffected by the new road and that residents’ lives are undisturbed by noise from it.

The survey was conducted by the parish council’s neighbourhood plan working party.

Working party chairman Ann Smee said the poll showed 89 per cent of respondents were happy with its efforts.

“People believe we are doing what they want us to do,” she said.

Two further questions in the survey saw 264-81 people in favour of land being put aside for job creation and 260-73 want housing to be built to meet local needs.

“The overwhelming reason given for those responses is people feel the parish has suffered far too much development during recent decades with a resulting rise in road congestion, erosion of open space and countryside and pressure on services,” said Cllr Smee.

The poll’s results will be officially given to a further public meeting - with five already held - and two open days yet to be decided to gain additional responses.

This forms a major part of the work to give Bersted a neighbourhood plan to ensure land is used as its residents want.