PEOPLE power took to the streets of Shoreham on Saturday.

Well over a hundred people, accompanied by a band of brass, drums and improvised instruments, were demonstrating the strength of public feeling at Adur Council’s lack of development cohesion and infrastructure. 

Placards showed their anger about the proposed 11-storey tower block on the Civic Centre site. But emotions took over as they stood beneath the decades-old poplar tree overlooking the Duke of Wellington beer garden, now under threat by these same developers.

The march was organised by Adur Communities Together, ACT, a non-political alliance made up of a number of local interest community groups who have come together to give local people a voice.

They are responding to the large number of disparate development proposals.

Shoreham is at a watershed. Already 1,155 new flats and houses are proposed along the A259 from Kingston Buci lighthouse to Frosts garage. There are four more sites in the pipeline due for development. Such new development puts a strain on local infrastructure, pressure on school places, doctors’ surgeries, parking, traffic flow, air pollution and the water network.

As one demonstrator said, we need one unified voice to influence decision makers to create a genuinely sustainable town.

Darcy Harrison is a leading light of the Shoreham Poplar Front campaign, which has already reached 17,000 signatures. He said: ‘"This tree is in perfect condition with 30 plus more years of life. It has managed to survive, in spite of being surrounded by hard concrete. A tree assessment carried out by arborist,

James Butler, principal arboricultural consultant, confirmed it fulfills the national standard of 16 points awarded for sustainability. But Adur Council is still hesitating in granting it a tree protection order. It is the sole poplar in this area and if we continue to destroy species we will destroy biodiversity. Boris Johnson has spoken of the importance of this but the truth is that developers place little value on trees and have no compunction to cut them down."

Jennifer Pulling

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