A new town might be the answer to solving housing problems across the Arun and Chichester districts, it has been claimed.
Chichester District Council’s city planning and conservation committee agreed to urge Chichester District Council to start talks on the idea with neighbouring Arun District Council – with Ford mentioned as a possible location for thousands of new homes.
This could dramatically reduce pressure on the city and areas surrounding it, and ease fears about the impact of major new housebuilding on inadequate roads and sewerage facilities.
City councillors were debating CDC’s consultation on how many new homes should be built in the south of the district in the years ahead.
As well as putting forward the new town idea, they expressed a preference for the lowest of a range of annual housing targets – 305 a year.
And out of five possible alternative options, they backed one featuring development spread across the area, with a focus on Tangmere.
The new town suggestion came from Cllr Richard Plowman, who declared that radical thinking and something new were needed.
He said all the options put forward by the district council had problems – including problems over sewage disposal and over traffic.
“The only way we will get affordable housing with the right infrastructure is to think about a new town, starting from scratch, making it and designing it so the houses are affordable and reach eco-standards,” he told the meeting.
Given the number of houses proposed by the district, and the number Arun had to find, the two districts should get together to see if they could produce a new town to cover both Arun needs and Chichester needs. This should be explored.
“With all the options being put forward by the district council, we are trying to put a quart into a pint pot,” said Cllr Plowman.
“We have to find a way to work together if we all have these problems, and I suspect Arun has the same issues as we have over infrastructure.”