RECENT correspondence in the press about the overdevelopment of the Sussex countryside certainly struck a chord with the residents of Ferring and Goring.
We have seen surveyors working on behalf of national house builders, Persimmon Homes, in both parts of the iconic Goring Gap which separates Ferring from Worthing.
Now we have been made aware of a ‘Site Concept’ plan drafted by a firm of planning consultants which lays out details of a possible development of nearly 400 homes in the north part of the gap between North Ferring and the area of Goring railway station - 60 of these would be within the parish of Ferring and the remainder in the Worthing section of the gap.
These are strategic gaps and they are there for a reason. They separate the communities so that they can retain their own special identities, they provide a green lung for exercise and activities, and they are an important site for wildlife – during this last winter the part of the gap near to the beach has seen over 1,000 wading birds roosting at any one time. They are very precious to so many of us, and we will fight to save them from being covered in houses and concrete. The area is overcrowded - roads are congested, local doctors’ surgeries and schools are struggling to cope, and both areas are subject to flooding. These should all be very good reasons for no development to take place there. There is already massive public anger at these proposals, and we hope that Persimmon Homes might think again before progressing anything.
If a planning application is forthcoming though for either or both parts of Goring Gap, we trust that our local elected representatives will do just that, and reject it out of hand for so many reasons.
In just over a year, there will be a general election, and local people will have an opportunity to show their feelings among other things about their current unpopular National Planning Policy Framework.
They do have an opportunity now to change this well before the election, and demonstrate that the policy of localism does mean something where communities are supposed to have a real say in their futures.
• Want to share your views? Send your letters by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA.