Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 11:31 UK

Eco-town 'cause of traffic chaos'

Part of the proposed Ford eco-town site
The proposed eco-town would be built on land at Ford airfield

Eight years of traffic chaos will hit West Sussex if proposals to build a 5,000-home eco-town go ahead, the chairman of a public inquiry has said.

Councillor Graham Tyler said no-one at the first day's hearing had denied the impact of building the scheme on roads in the Ford area, near Littlehampton.

Local MPs Nick Herbert and Nick Gibb were there at the start of the inquiry.

The Department of Communities and Local Government and campaigners against the eco-town also sent representatives.

'More questions'

Ford is one of 15 sites in England to be shortlisted for the 10 new towns.

The government announcement in April was met by a storm of protest from the MPs and local people.

Promotors Ford Airfield Vision Group (FAVG) and the Ford Enterprise Hub outlined the scheme at the opening day of the inquiry at Arun District Council chamber.

"There have been more questions than answers," said Mr Tyler.

"Deliverability is a key issue and the Arundel by-pass is also a critical factor.

"No-one denied there would be at least eight years' traffic chaos if these plans went ahead.

"A further key issue is the impact on Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, most notably the effect on housing and employment."

The six-day inquiry continues for the rest of the week and on 3 June at Arun District Council chamber in Littlehampton Civic Centre.

It will meet at Yapton and Ford Village Hall on 4 June.

The select committee's findings will be put before the council at the end of June and submitted to the government as part of its consultation process.

Eco-town inquiry gets under way
27 May 08 |  Sussex
'Eco-towns' shortlist is revealed
03 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
'Eco-town' plans: Site-by-site
03 Apr 08 |  UK Politics

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