Sunday, March 02, 2014

Controversy

Whilst the Gorse Fox and Jasper awaited yesterday's return of the Silver Vixen, the door bell rang. Jasper scurried to the top of the stairs and watched and GF opened the door to nice lady clutching a handful of car stickers.

There is to be a public meeting to consult on the development of new houses nearby. Would the Gorse Fox put a "NO" sticker in his window. The Gorse Fox paused, smiled and entered into a debate.

  • With the change in the make-up of the family and the migration of people to the South, and continued immigration - people have to live somewhere.
  • The Government have imposed house-building targets on the Regions, and the Councils have to comply.
  • Given these two imperatives - and the extensive building that is already under way elsewhere in the District, why should the houses not be built here?
  • Fontwell has the advantage of being on the intersection of the A27 and A29, and has a nearby railway station at Barnham
This caused an intake in breath. Well, she explained, there is an old Roman road, and have been historic finds in the area - and the Secretary of State declined permission 19 years ago. More pertinently the proposed development would radically change the nature of the village - doubling its current size... and what about the recent flooding?

The Gorse Fox discussed each of her points and commented that he wished her campaign well, and was encouraged by the community involvement that it engendered - but could not support the proposition. She then said that what was needed was someone like the Gorse Fox on the Planning Committee of the District Council.

The problem is that planning decisions are so emotive as they change the perceived quality of life of those affected. In practise GF suspects that in most cases this is really just a period of adjustment and adaptation - but people do not like change. They do have to realise, however, that people need homes and we have an ever growing population - and the fragmentation of families means that we need disproportionately more homes than the population growth would suggest, traditionally.

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