Having attended the New Monks Farm Development exhibition there are a number of points which should be considered and questions that need to be asked.
In light of recent reports on the effects of air pollution in this country and studies done in Canada, the USA, Barcelona and the Netherlands on the positioning of schools, I question whether the health and learning of our children is being taken seriously.
In a study in the Netherlands it was found that in schools within 100 metres of a major road soot exposure was 100 per cent higher and NOx was 37 per cent higher than for children at school further from major roads.
In Canada it was recommended that the outside play areas be as far as possible from busy roads.
In California they found that particulate concentration is significantly higher within 100 metres of a major road. In this country the Government Environmental Audit Committee has recommended that existing schools near busy roads be fitted with an air filtration system.
So what is the logic of building a new school beside a road which is already congested and having the playground back onto the A27? The IKEA will be a yellow and blue eyesore (in Hamburg it is white with much more discreet blue and yellow signs) and belongs in an industrial park, not beside a National Park. I fail to see how relocating the traffic lights to the proposed large roundabout on the A27 and road widening in one section will cope with such a large increase in traffic from the New Monks Farm development, visitors and staff at IKEA and further traffic wanting access to theA27 from all the new developments on the A259.
Are the forecasts for the increase in traffic and air quality taking into account all the proposed developments?
Surely this information should be available to local residents who will bear the brunt of the congestion.
Should the development be approved, how much, in financial terms, will IKEA and the developers contribute to improving the infrastructure? They propose a community ‘hub’ of 250 square metres. But that is not enough to include a doctors’ surgery, a community centre and a local shop, all of which are essential to creating a ‘community’. Nor was there any mention of a playground with appropriate equipment or an area for allotments.
Given that we build the smallest new houses in Europe, a situation that can lead to an increase in depression and stress, and given the road conditions surrounding Shoreham would it not make more sense to build fewer, but larger homes and flats with more useable back gardens, allowing children to play outside. Less money for the developers but better lives for the rest of us! Or would the most positive thing be not to build on a flood plain with all the ensuing repercussions that may bring?
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