Monday, 30 June 2008

How can the developers describe the site as 30% Brownfield?

Dear Eco-Town Team,

On this, the last day that the public can have their say, (I understand the developers get a lot longer!) I fell I must write on a subject that has been bothering me for a long time.

How can the developers describe the site as 30% Brownfield? How can areas that are currently farmed, be clearly shown on their consolation map as brownfield?

After some investigation I have found the answer ‘Previously-developed land is that which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.’ in Ford's case this curtilage 'includes land in the ownership of the former airfield operator required to allow the airfield to be used safely (including land required to allow planes to land and taxi safely and to be stored and serviced).'

In short in Ford's case Brownfield is, All land sold with the airfield even if this was never built on.

In the context of an Eco-Town, should we be allowing legal definitions to let developers claim farmland is brownfield?

I have not calculated but looking from google earth, I would estimate only 5% of the entire site is not at present farmland, how can it be 'Eco' to build a new town on 95% farmland?

When this is taken into account, Ford is probably not the largest brownfield site in Arun as we are told, the former LEC site in Bognor Regis for one, must have more un-farmed land on it.

As with my previous letter, I hope you take this letter seriously and remove Ford from the list of Eco-Towns

Neil Champion

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