MPs vow to fight Ford eco-town
West Sussex MPs Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs) and Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis & Littlehampton) have vowed to continue the fight against an eco-town at Ford following the Government’s announcement that the site has been shortlisted for 5,000 homes.
Nick Herbert said: "This is a new town in disguise. There's nothing ‘eco' about building 5,000 houses on a green field site. We simply don't have the infrastructure to support additional housing on this scale. West Sussex is already being required to build an additional 58,000 houses. When the A27 is congested, our hospitals are being downgraded and there are shortages of water, further development is simply unsustainable.
"What's more, the local planning process has been totally subverted. Arun District Council has objected to development at Ford, but the Government is seeking to impose housing over the heads of local communities."
Nick Gibb said: "It is local people and elected local councillors who know where new housing can be built in an environmentally sustainable way. It isn't for Whitehall mandarins or Labour Ministers to tell us where and what to build. This proposal is universally opposed by local people, by the parish councils and by Arun District Council and we need to fight it every step of the way."
The MPs said that they will be convening a meeting with Arun District Council, local parish councils and other interested parties to discuss the formation of a united local campaign to fight the proposal for an eco-town at Ford.
Notes for Editors
1. The Written Ministerial Statement from Housing Minister Caroline Flint MP announcing the shortlist can be seen at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2008-04-03b.70WS.0
2. Nick Gibb and Nick Herbert raised their concerns in a Westminster Hall debate on 4 March 2008. For a transcript of the debate, visit http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080304/halltext/80304h0008.htm#08030460000005