Community to form united campaign against Ford eco-town

Members of the community in Ford and neighbouring villages and towns are joining forces to set up a united campaign against the proposed Ford eco-town.

 

Residents of Ford, Yapton, Climping and Arundel met on Friday last week (18 April) and agreed to form ‘Communities Against Ford Eco-Town' - CAFE.

The Campaign is being backed by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Bognor Regis & Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb.

Residents from other neighbouring towns and villages, including Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Felpham, Middleton-on-Sea and Barnham are being encouraged to join the Campaign.

The following initial actions were agreed:

  • A campaign group called Communities Against Ford Eco-Town (CAFE) will be established.

  • CAFE will be run by the local community.

  • CAFE will be non party-political.

  • The Campaign Coordinator will be Climping resident Susan West.

  • CAFE will have a dedicated Campaign website, e-mail address, postal address and telephone number - details to be announced.

  • A petition will be organised by CAFE.

  • A Campaign leaflet will be produced and delivered to homes in the local area.

  • A march and rally will be held locally on Saturday 7 June 2008.  Further details will be announced nearer the time.

The Campaign is expected to be launched formally next week.

Nick Herbert commented: "There are huge local concerns about the eco-town proposal and a strong feeling that the communities affected need to work together.  In the past year we've all rallied to support our local hospitals.  I hope everyone will now get behind this united campaign to see off the eco-town."

Nick Gibb commented: "It's vitally important that everyone affected takes part in this campaign, whether it be signing the petition, writing to the Minister, Caroline Flint or attending the rally on 7th June.  This is a cross-party and locally-run campaign that, for the sake of our environment, we have to win."

The meeting was organised following an announcement from Housing Minister Caroline Flint on 3 April that Ford had been shortlisted for an eco-town, along with 14 other locations around the country.  Of the 15 sites that have made the shortlist, the Government anticipates that 10 eco-towns will be built.  Five will be built by 2016, the remainder by 2020.

At least 5,000 houses could be built on land around the former Ford Airfield site, most of which is greenfield land.

Ends

 

Notes for Editors

1. For further details of the Ford eco-town proposal, visit www.arun.gov.uk/ecotown

2. The consultation paper issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), entitled ‘Eco-towns: Living a Greener Future', can be viewed at http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/livinggreenerfuture.pdf

3. The DCLG consultation ends on 30 June 2008.

Joe CoombesPlanning