Last year Adur District Council rejected the Shoreham Port Authority's application to start a major development of the north side of the harbour, between the locks and the Texaco oil terminal.

This would eventually provide office and commercial space for some 1,000 new jobs, plus a new 192- berth marina, but only has parking spaces for 370 cars and no provision for lorry parking.

The overall development may be a good thing in principle, but the lack of parking and the likely added congestion on the local roads would seem to be a bad thing.

The port has appealed against the decision and a Government planning inspector is to hold a public enquiry later in the year.

No doubt the inspector will read all the letters that have been lodged with the council regarding this planning application and hence there is little point in any of the original objectors (and supporters) writing in again.

The inspector will also note the reasons for the council's decision, together with any other technical arguments and then make a decision.

This may sound thorough and balanced, but it must be remembered that the inspector is not elected and will have to make a decision based largely on Government guidelines which are biased against cars and favour public transport, bicycles and walking. This may be laudable in theory - but if his decision goes against the council's democratic decision then it is the residents of Adur who will have to pay the price of dealing with the extra traffic congestion long after the inspector has moved on and forgotten that little place called Southwick.

On a lesser note: if you are a small boat owner wishing to launch via a trailer in Shoreham harbour, it would seem that the Lady Bee slipway may be eventually replaced with a launch/retrieval hoist. This is bound to be more restrictive and expensive than a slip.

With the sad demise of the Ropetackle launch facilities, readers may care to make their feelings known to the inspector on this matter also. Could I therefore suggest that residents and non-residents who may be worried about the outcome of the appeal take the opportunity to write to the inspector at The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/20, Temple Quay House, Bristol, BS1 6PN, quoting ref no APP/Y/3805/A/ 07/2042439 NWF, before the end of May, so he may be made properly aware of the depth of local feeling.

  • Mike Wooldridge, Riverbank, Shoreham