LETTER: They can’t have it both ways

Letter in response to article by Maria Hudd on p5 of Express, 26 Feb.

In urging developers “to leave our countryside alone” Mavis Clark claims that Beechwood Lane has already been urbanized by the installation of a concrete footpath. This is a gross distortion.

The footpath extends only 150 metres from the A275 to Beechwood Hall; the rest of the lane is unaffected. She refers to upset among some residents while omitting to mention that the footpath was supported by an overwhelming majority so that pedestrians, especially children, could enjoy safe access to the hall and recreation ground.

Mrs Clark now seems to be acting as spokesperson against proposed housing development in the adjoining field. Certainly those whose quality of life would be directly affected have a right to object, but it’s worth remembering that there’s a bigger picture.

There is an urgent need for more housing, especially in the South East. It can’t be wished away to other parts of the country.

Nor in reality can it be satisfied by building only on brownfield sites. We must rely on our politicians, supported by professional planners, to balance general and individual interests and identify the most appropriate sites.

Judging by what’s reported in the Sussex Express, rural communities are very quick to oppose almost any development proposal.

However, these communities also want and need better local services and infrastructure – public transport, local shops and pubs, cycle ways, high speed broadband, etc – but in the current financial climate these are only likely to happen alongside housing development and population growth.

They can’t have it both ways.

Maybe those of us fortunate enough to live in the countryside would also benefit from reminding ourselves from time to time that our own houses were built on what was once open land.

Kevin Froude

Swallow Cottage, Offham