By Councillor John Robinson
There are two major issues in and around my council area of Barnham and Eastergate.
The first and biggest problem we are having to deal with is the huge building and overdevelopment on ancient woodland and agricultural land. This is not only destroying the beautiful countryside and traditional village type character of the area. It is also destroying natural habitat, wildlife, our heritage and rural community.
Local residents and parish council’s have been lobbying the Conservative councillors on Arundel district council and local MP for Arundel and the South Downs, Andrew Griffith, for several years, in an attempt to save our green spaces. We have sent a joint letter to all Arundel district councillors, Mr Griffith and the government, asking them to stop destroying our rural land. As far as I am aware, no reply has been received to date.
Our district simply hasn’t got the infrastructure to cope with thousands of new homes, families and vehicles.
Furthermore, adjoining areas of Yapton, Woodgate, Fontwell, Wallberton are all suffering the same fate. Homes are being built on flood plains which is even more absurd.
The Conservative Party has no intention of ‘conserving’ anything traditional or historical. In fact, they do the opposite. They should be ‘conserving’ the environment from harm or destruction, but instead, they allow concrete to be poured all over it!
Here are just a few photos of the building development’s in and around this part of West Sussex.
The second battle we are fighting against is the proposed A27 Arundel Bypass that would go straight through Binstead.
This is another project that would literally rip up ancient woodland, and agricultural land. It will also be built alongside the beautiful 12th-century Grade II listed, St Mary’s Binstead village church. (See images below)
The villages of Binsted, Walberton, Fontwell, Tortington; the wildlife of Binsted Woods, and wetlands from the iconic floodplain south of Arundel to the Binsted Rife Valley, are all under threat from the impacts of National Highways proposals.
We are campaigning for this Bypass to be scrapped. The project will cost vast amounts of money, for approximately 6 or 7 minutes to be knocked off of a journey. This is another awful waste of taxpayers’ money.
Known as the ‘Grey Route’, the bypass will be a 4-lane, 70mph dual carriageway, stretching across 8 km of countryside.
My council colleagues and I fully support the work of a specific campaign group called the, Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee. This group has been formed to oppose the bypass.
The Arundel Alternative is a more sustainable and far less damaging short bypass with a wide single carriageway, costing two thirds less than the National Highways Grey Route proposal.