LETTER: Is this localism?

THE problem with the White House Farm development is much more than determined opposition by local residents.

It demonstrates the insidious undermining of local government itself.

Our Conservative-controlled district and county councils are obeying instructions from a Conservative national government that is prepared to break its own rules on Green Belt and AONB areas.

Our so-called local plan, dealing with future housing numbers, had to be reworked many times and took years to finalise after lengthy and extensive consultation with councils and parishes, meetings with individuals and organisations.

Then a government inspector is appointed who shoots to pieces the carefully worked out local plan. Why?

Because it was too local, and very selfish of local people trying to preserve their environment against the diktat of central government.

This then is the much-trumpeted localism and devolved government.

And the existing planning policy has little to do with planning and should be discarded as not fit for purpose.

It gives building companies, that already hold enormous land banks, the freedom to destroy large swathes of our countryside with impunity.

Their profits are enormous because they only build in prosperous areas, but local councils also benefit via 106 contributions to the local infrastructure

The White House Farm development will not alleviate the local housing need, but only encourage people to move into this area.

What we would get is another sub-standard housing site with no use of modern technology or renewable energy, no cycling paths for every road or trees planted for every house.

It is high time we insist on only the best of everything for Chichester. Future generations will thank us for it.

Edith Pingree Rogerson

St Pauls Road

Chichester