In the June 11 edition of the Shoreham Herald, there is an article headlined “Town welcomes ‘monstrous’ site’s new replacement”, in which councillor Ken Bishop refers to the Southlands Hospital site as a “monstrosity”.
He goes on to say that people living in Crown Road will be glad when the hospital, specifically the Harness Block and ancillary buildings, are bulldozed to make way for new homes.
It might well be that the residents of Crown Road will be glad to see the back of the hospital, but Mr Bishop seems oblivious to the concerns of the majority of Shoreham residents in this matter.
Southlands once provided a host of medical services including maternity, day surgery, a pharmacy, and a ward containing step-down beds, for use of patients recovering from major surgery. All these services (and more) have been gradually eliminated by Western Sussex Hospitals Trust and its predecessors, to the point where they have felt confident to justify their decision to sell off the site.
These are services that Shoreham residents now have to travel to Worthing, or even Chichester, to access – and sometimes even further afield – seriously disadvantaging them, especially if they have to rely on public transport.
The addition of 106 new homes in our area is going to massively contribute to the congestion in the Shoreham area, already severely congested to the point where local radio bulletins routinely refer to traffic “hot spots” on roads such as the A27 and A24, but fail to mention the subsidiary roads which are log jammed as a result of traffic seeking alternative routes to the main arteries.
Mr Bishop claims that “Obviously we need as many houses as we can have”, which is not a view shared by the majority of existing residents, as several surveys have shown; Shoreham people do not want every square metre of their area concreted over as Adur continues to be a happy hunting ground for developers, aided and abetted by Tory-run local authorities.
And finally, what about the £520,000 which has been secured as a result of Section 106 funding, conditional on the development being agreed?
This funding is described as “..financial contributions towards education, transport, libraries and fire and rescue” for local improvements, to quote a letter from the principal planning officer to one of Mr Bishop’s constituents.
Should he not be doing his utmost to campaign for this money to be used to benefit his constituents, rather than see it disappear into West Sussex’s coffers?
I’m reminded of the saying that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool rather than to go into print and confirm it to the world; I’ll leave it there.
• Want to share your views? Send your letters by email or post them to Letters, Shoreham Herald, Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA. Remember to include your full name and address.
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