VOTE: Traffic fears raised

Concerns have been raised about a plan for a new road in Felpham.

Sime Darby London wants to build the 800m long carriageway from the Arun Leisure Centre roundabout on the A259 to its intended commercial park on the former Lec airfield.

The road is a shortened version of one put forward several years ago to provide a direct link to Butlin’s and the seafront from the northern relief road being built.

Sime Darby London’s managing director Raof Daud explained the proposal for the 74-acre site to Felpham Parish Council.

Parish council chairman Paul English said: “We are going to have £1m spent to stop as much traffic as possible from coming through Felpham when the relief road opens. But you are going to create quite a bit more traffic.

“If the traffic was coming in from the north, that would be the best case for Felpham because you are not going to create traffic through the village all over again.”

Vice-chairman Dennis Peerman said: “A lot of time and money has been spent getting traffic on to the relief road and you are going to put us back to square one.”

Cllr Mary Harvey said: “I’m in a quandry over this scheme. There is a need for a north-south road and we have said so for many years.

“Any green space left in Felpham is precious. I am concerned it’s going to exacerbate the flooding problem.”

Mr Daud said the scheme could be finished in 3-5 years if approvals were given and provide enough business space for 15-20 years before the second phase needed to start.

“Phase One of the work will involve 50 per cent of the site, 30 acres, of which half will be developed. We are trying to protect the country park setting,” he said.

He claimed the commercial park would not generate much extra traffic.

“This is not about attracting businesses from outside. Our priority is to help businesses in Bognor grow. They have nowhere in Bognor to go if they want another 30,000q ft or so of premises,” he said.