You will have seen the disastrous news regarding the upgrading of the A27 junctions at Chichester being cancelled by the Secretary of State at the Department of Transport due to various local Councils not being supportive of the proposals,
Basically the leader at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) had been pushing for a Northern route cutting through the Goodwood estate and not supporting the Chichester upgrade proposals. Then Chichester District Council had voted to open up the debate again so you had the County and the District pulling the tent poles away from the Chichester scheme.
Our MP Nick Herbert had warned of this back in January and I had put out Facebook posts critical of Louise Goldsmith the leader of WSCC, the fear was that because of the lack of support for the Chichester upgrades that all three schemes would be cancelled, eg Arundel, Chichester and Worthing, Nick Herbert our MP has worked hard at lobbying the SoS Chris Grayling to de-couple the Chichester scheme from the other two.
It’s now very important that Arundel Town Council (ATC), Arun District and WSCC hold together with their resolve to deliver the Arundel off-line bypass, there is consensus that this will happen, but there are dissenting voices at ATC that are hoping to cancel or amend the bypass to an online or partial solution (EG their dreamed up Purple Route).
The anti road campaigners are now emboldened to think that they can get the Arundel & Worthing schemes cancelled, In politics you don’t always get what you want and the art of politics is delivering the possible rather than trying to deliver the impossible.
The lesson of the Chichester cancellation is that certain protesters think that by pushing for utopia that the government will listen, but with everything compromise is always best if you actually want to get something done that's meaningful.
There is a lesson for our Local Plan, many protesters think that Arun Councillors should resist at all costs any more houses, Arun has been trying to pursue that Strategy for the last 8-12 years, and rather than settling on 550 houses back in 2009 we are now looking at a 1000+ houses pa and I fear this might even go up to 1200 houses pa.
Arun needs to nail a figure and agree our plan as our first priority, we have lost the battle for houses, so we need to be realistic and agree something, because if we don’t our green and pleasant land will be covered by concrete
Until next month. Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton Councillor and Cabinet member for leisure & Amenities on Arun District Council. Email firstname.lastname@example.org: www.pauldendle.org