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Archive for March, 2015

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown

March 25, 2015 3 comments

I’m trying to think of a tune to this song I’ve written – any ideas?

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think We’re On The Run?
We Are The Villagers Who Will Stop Your Little Game
We Are The Villagers Who Will Make You Think Again
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?

Mr Bower Goes Off To Town
For Planning Appeal Twenty-One
But He Comes Home Each Evening
And again, He Has Not Won

(So Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?)

So Watch Out Mrs Brown
You Have Met Your Match In Us
If You Think You Can Crush Us
We’re Afraid You’ve Missed The Bus
‘Cause Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs Brown
If You Think Our Villages are Done?

The Villagers Prayer – are you listening Archbishop Justin?

March 25, 2015 1 comment

The Lords Prayer has been rewritten to incorporate  a prayer for our community which is under threat of predatory development from the church itself.

Maybe God will protect us from the church?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wv4p9pwkimq06fz/Villages%20Prayer.mp4?dl=0

 

 

 

Enterprise Zone proposal in Flood Zone 3

March 23, 2015 2 comments

         Enterprise Zone Bognor Regis - Flood Zone 3

It is worth asking if Arun District Council, in making it’s recent bid for an Enterprise Zone to the north of Bognor Regis (supported by the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership and West Sussex County Council) made the government aware that this location is in Flood Zone 3, which is a very important material consideration. Flood Zone 3 is land at most risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency submission to the draft Local Plan states; “However, we do have some concerns as to how decisions were made in relation to employment land allocations and the proposed sites for strategic housing allocations which we would like to see addressed before any further consultation.” and “The four sites identified as employment land allocations in the Bognor Regis Enterprise Zone lie within Flood Zone 3.” 

I want an Enterprise Zone in our district as much as anybody else, but I am aware that we live on a flood plain and that, for some very strange reason, the council has identified one of the lowest points on the flood plain for our future employment provision. It does not make sense.

This location was first identified for employment in the 2003 Local Plan. No employers turned up during the plan period and so it was a barren decade for employment provision in this district. Then the first Enterprise Zone bid was submitted and rejected by government. Now we await the outcome of a second bid for Enterprise Zone status – again at the same location.

Recently, Rolls Royce committed to this location and is utilising the only land not in Flood Zone 3. Why would other potential employers want to locate their business on land in Flood Zone 3, and so far from the A27? I am concerned that any potential employers will lose interest as soon as they realise that Rolls Royce has the only high ground and the rest of the land is in Flood Zone 3.

By contrast, I have always been an advocate of development on brownfield land at Ford, which is in Flood Zone 1 (land at least risk of flooding), adjacent to the south coast main railway line, and adjacent to the proposed Arundel Bypass. A perfect location for an Enterprise Zone but has it been properly reconsidered since the announcement of funding for an Arundel Bypass?

The recent announcement of £250 million funding for an Arundel bypass is very welcome news. However, if Coast to Capital, West Sussex County Council and Arun District Council don’t press home the case for an Arundel bypass by visibly demonstrating how they will utilise this investment, then a future government might feel justified in withdrawing the funding. We must be seen to use it – or run the risk of losing it!

My concern is that the proposed Enterprise Zone is the right idea but in the wrong location.

A letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

March 3, 2015 1 comment

Attn. The Archbishop of Canterbury

Lambeth Palace,

London,

SE1 7JU

contact@lambethpalace.org.uk

Your Grace,

Many members of our local community find it concerning that the Arun Local Plan 2011 – 2031 Publication Version quotes the housing allocation for the villages of Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate as “at least 2,000 homes” and that the Masterplan produced by the Church Commissioners (as landowners) and their associates outlines proposals for “approximately 3,000 homes”. Luken Beck who represent the Church Commissioners have made representations to increase the strategic allocation to 3,000 houses.

Did the Church Commissioners make representations to increase the strategic allocation to 3,000 houses at previous consultation stages, or is this an attempt to increase the housing number by stealth, by waiting until after the site has been formally selected by the council? Not surprisingly the Church Commissioners have declined to answer this question. We would like to know the answer.

It seems that the church, through the Church Commissioners, is acting more like a predatory developer than a community leader. Many developers have made similar representations and why shouldn’t they – it’s their job. But the church? We expect moral leadership from the church not predatory conduct!

The local community are very uneasy with what is seen as a particularly proactive and aggressive attack by the Church Commissioners on the communities of Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate as well as those downstream like Felpham, Middleton and Bersted.

Another matter that concerns the local community is that the land south of the church’s land is in flood zone 3 (land at most risk of flooding). The church say they have carried out surveys to demonstrate the suitability of the land for housing – so what did their surveys say about the possibility of flood risk in Bersted, Felpham and Middleton? Our concern is that the church is so strongly motivated by money that it has not considered the communities downstream. We would like to know what the Church Commissioner’s surveys say about the prospects for the communities downstream!

The church will argue that people need homes and that the church is providing land to help achieve that – an argument I and others strongly support. It is right and proper that the church should sell land to provide housing for those in need (after all, there is a national housing crisis) – but only as long at the moral and ethical arguments are prioritised over the financial arguments. We question if that is happening in this case?

Personally, I have always accepted the need for large scale housing provision and so I support the 580 houses p.a. number as expressed in the Local Plan. However, where I differ from both Arun District Council and the church is that I believe the houses should be built on brownfield land – why destroy historic communities and valuable greenfield land when there is a large brownfield site nearby?

Where is the church’s loyalty towards the Helyer family who have farmed this land for generations?

The church is, in essence, advocating the use of greenfield land before brownfield land, which is in conflict with the NPPF, and is morally and ethically wrong. We are concerned that, because the church does not own any brownfield land in the Arun district, it is prioritising use of its own greenfield land over the moral and ethical arguments relating to the use of brownfield land – which can only mean that the church is motivated by financial gain!

Representations from the local community so far have had no impact (in fact, the church’s response is to ignore such representations and instead to make it’s own representations for an increase in the strategic development allocation – something that might be interpreted as a two fingered salute!). The church listens but it does not hear!

Many feel that this situation demonstrates a lack of moral leadership, as exercised by the church, through its commissioners. We feel that there is little point discussing the moral and ethical arguments with the Church Commissioners – it is more a matter for the church.

Remember Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

We would like to request a meeting with you to discuss the moral and ethical issues arising from this matter. Our community, a community whose existence was recognised in the Domesday Book, is in need – please do not walk by on the other side of the road.

Yours sincerely

Tony Dixon

4 Barons Close

Westergate

Chichester

West Sussex

PO20 3YS