‘Is it ‘Nimbyism’ to try to protect Chichester from catastrophic overdevelopment?’ – reader’s letter

Writes Alan Carn, of Whyke Road, Chichester
Chichester centre, from West Street. Photograph: Kate Shemilt/ ks20206-4Chichester centre, from West Street. Photograph: Kate Shemilt/ ks20206-4
Chichester centre, from West Street. Photograph: Kate Shemilt/ ks20206-4

In response to Geoff Conway’s letter in last week’s Observer (January 27), I agree that there is a housing need for starter homes and properties for reasonable rents that local people can afford while still managing to put food on the table.

This could be achieved without the necessity to concrete over the whole of the coastal plain.

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The first priority should be to stop housing being treated as an income stream by rapacious landlords; stamp out the mushrooming of properties being snatched up by the already wealthy, just to be let as ‘Airbnb’ money-making ventures; put punitive taxes on second homes and keep a register of empty properties and if necessary compulsorily purchase them and put them back into occupation.

We are facing an unprecedented climate crisis, which seems to have escaped Mr Conway’s notice.

How will the occupants of all these new properties get around? Must we really contemplate a five-lane A27?

How can we ‘fix’ being in an area of low rainfall and face increased demand for water? New reservoir? Sorry, nowhere to put it as the coastal plain will be completely covered in houses.

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True, we live in a beautiful part of the country, but is it ‘Nimbyism’ to try to protect it from catastrophic overdevelopment?

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