LETTER: Destruction of Binsted

I live in Yapton Lane opposite the path that crosses the fields to ancient Binsted church where my late husband, Jimmy, is buried.

That walk over the fields and on through Binsted towards Arundel was his favourite walk and many dog walkers and others go that way because it is beautiful, tranquil and special, i.e., worth preserving for future generations. I believe that Highways England has made many errors in their Public Consultation booklet about the A27 Arundel ‘improvement’ and it is somewhat clear that the ‘powers that be’, i.e. those with clout, have already decided that Route 5a (destroying Binsted) be chosen out of the three options. For example, at the Arundel Town Council meeting at St Nicholas’ Church, Arundel, on 25th September about a new bypass, those who didn’t live in Arundel had to go in last and sit at the back and – somewhat unfairly – were not allowed to speak at all during the meeting, even though it affects many people other than the residents of Arundel.

We have been told that Route 1, mainly a question of widening parts of the present A27, plus a new crossing over (although, better still in the long run, despite the cost, would be a tunnel underneath) the River Arun would be the cheapest option – and it would certainly be the least destructive of irreplaceable and unique countryside. But no, the booklet is definitely biased, the pictures leave out the essence of what would be lost in Binsted and as for the Highways England video, shown at various venues, it is confusing, to say the least.

Instead, everyone interested should look at the lovely [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz7lLnMlWlY&feature=youtu.be|‘Save Binsted’ video|click here} made by local people for YouTube which gives an honest and realistic appraisal of the environmental damage that would be inflicted should Route 5a be chosen. Please have a look. Route 3 is marginally less destructive than Route 5A but would still inflict huge devastation on ancient woodland, the water meadows and of course the rich wildlife that we are fortunate enough to enjoy in our countryside. As for Route 1, widening the current A27 as far as possible and building a bridge or tunnel, it seems to have been quietly discarded for reasons unknown.

Jeannie Dunning

Yapton Lane, Walberton