Where was councillor Bower?

With three weeks of Arun District Council’s new local plan ‘consultation’ having gone and with four weeks to go, now is the time to reflect on the progress of planning supremo Bower’s tour de force.

These will include stopping up the Woodgate rail crossing, demolishing the Basmati Indian Restaurant (formerly 200-year-old Labour-in-Vain Inn ), removing the Eastergate Memorial to the glorious war dead, building a new bypass to feed on to Barnham Road near Church Lane, Eastergate, and adding up to 7,000 new car movements and commercial vehicle traffic to the remaining very inadequate roads through the five villages.

All this will be paid for from the profits of the landowners and developers of 2,230 houses in a new town on Greenfields. It’s called the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

The low-quality PR presentations by ADC have so far been badly criticised by at least four out of the seven which have been held.

No general advertising, timed to coincide with the holidays and Olympics, no signage near venues, blatantly biased, poorly-prepared displays with many errors, and officers who appeared unconvinced, left to try to persuade the public it is a good plan.

The only evidence of Cllr Bower was on a video which no-one bothered to watch and you couldn’t hear anyway.

Repeated pictures of a railway crossing with flashing red lights were the clear indication this is a political decision to foist on us an experiment which could cost our future generations dearly.

The idea of this new bypass and 2,230 new homes bringing hordes of new business investors to Bognor Regis is fanciful in the extreme: how will they be persuaded when our entire county lacks any kind of linked-up strategic road network? And where are all the highly-skilled workers coming from to work for them?

The only locations of interest are in the Crawley to Brighton A23 corridor and in SE Hampshire,with Chichester showing promise at Tangmere/Westhampnett.

There will be more out-commuting from Arun until the Chichester-Arundel-Worthing A27 offers a more enhanced prospect for investment in modern industries.

The result will be worsening traffic congestion locally, unbearable conditions on the B2233 villages’ road, more rat-running and shifting traffic jams to Storrington, Pulborough and the A24 at Washington.

We need a new solution to get the traffic moving outside our Villages with connections which steer it to the west and east to the A27 using the A259 as a southern bypass.

We implore all Arun’s councillors to be just and fair, not accuse us of nimbyism; we genuinely think this is a flawed plan for all of Arun from Angmering to Aldingbourne.

It is, in the words of an ex-local planner, ‘a sledge hammer to crack a nut’!

Please think again, before it’s too late.

John Penfold (ex-councillor)