LETTER: Welcome to Shoreham...

I was born in Shoreham and have lived locally for 50 years. I have a question: exactly who are these people who seem intent on wrecking Shoreham?

Previously it was a vibrant little fishing town with a thriving local economy and a close-knit, connected local community. Then the London commuter set arrived, gobbling up all the previously reasonably priced property sending the property market haywire, closely followed by the property developers.

There are people who seem to think that they are our salvation, when in fact, ironically, they themselves have caused many of our current woes and from a local perspective.

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Do you know what, we actually didn’t need saving, thanks, apart, of course, from these very people! They will cite underinvestment and deprivation, yet this is merely a smokescreen flanked by mirrors to camouflage and conceal the modern day cancer that is ‘gentrification’, more honestly defined as ‘social cleansing’.

So what have the benefits been locally? Or should we say ‘the problems that we previously never had’?

A High Street that has failed every air quality measurement and now represents a grave health risk as a result of gridlock with stationary traffic stretching back as far as the lighthouse and Wenceling Cottages in Lancing at certain times. The imprisoning of Shoreham Beach residents at rush hour due to traffic carnage. The true locals being priced out of their own town. A previously vibrant local economy now wrecked, with Shoreham looking as desolate as a country after a nuclear war on weeknights as the new commuter belt don’t go out during the week (as they have to be on the 07:01 or the 07:11 to London) and also do not understand the requirement for local loyalty in terms of usage of local shops and services, unlike the previous shift-worker and self-employed local community. All evidence of previous local economic vibrancy is long gone as the new incumbents have no ‘local relationship’ and Shoreham descends into the sallow depths of a ‘dormitory town’ and a satellite borough of London. Most of the younger locals that would have echeloned up to continue the local community have been forcibly priced out, to be replaced by the moneyed Londonites and ‘second home’ brigade – both of which have no local connection. The mass overpopulation, irresponsible overdevelopment and general gentrification is now taking its toll on Shoreham.

I never thought I’d agree with John Robinson, but he’s right – the (Adur) planning committee has made some shockingly bad decisions. Shoreham is a small town and mass overpopulation must be avoided with any new development(s) being both modest and suitable.

Planning conditions need to be put in place in terms of second homes and perhaps a ‘Peak District clause’ to preserve and protect the local community from the greedy property speculators.

In short, the council needs to stand up to developers who are attempting to profiteer at the expense of the residents and perhaps more importantly, the character of Shoreham. Otherwise, welcome to the London Borough of Shoreham (only for the rich), twinned with Chernobyl. Make sure you bring your inhaler!

I’m all for the financial aspirations of the people with no local connection moving in, but what about the rights of the local people, traders and families who lived here first?

Sean Ridley

Brighton Road


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