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Chichester local plan

Chichester’s Local Plan was adopted in 2015. The independent planning inspector, however, required the district council to complete a review within five years to make sure sufficient housing would be planned to meet the needs of the area. This work will form the Chichester Local Plan Review 2034 and covers that part of the district outside the national park. The Society keeps an eye on plans being drawn up for areas just outside the national park to ensure that the park is adequately protected.

Our response to the recent public consultation appears below:

 

Chichester Local Plan Review 2034 Issues and Options Consultation

These are the comments of the South Downs Society, the national park society for the South Downs National Park. The Society has nearly 2,000 members and its focus is the conservation and enhancement of the special qualities of the national park and their quiet enjoyment. Our comments on this consultation are restricted to those questions of greatest relevance to us.

Qu 1: Cross boundary issues/duty to co-operate

The setting of the national park is a key element of its quality. The District Council, through the local plan and other decision making processes, has a statutory duty under Section 62 of the 1995 Environment Act to have regard to the designation of the park. The local plan must demonstrate how this duty is to be discharged.

Qu 9: Spatial principles

The Society’s three highest priorities from those listed:

  1. Locate development to minimise its impact on protected or locally important landscapes, heritage and biodiversity
  2. Focus development in locations where there is greatest potential to maximise sustainable travel (public transport, walking and cycling)
  3. Focus development in locations where there is greatest accessibility to employment, local services and facilities

 

Qu 12: Suitable locations for strategic development

Sites within Chichester City and south as far as the A27 should be considered to accommodate strategic residential development that will be well served by rail and bus services and close to the city’s amenities. City centre development is suggested in order to minimise the need for travel, and to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport as an alternative to the private car.

 

 

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Major new housing development on the edge of Chichester

The Society has written today, 6 July, to local press in the Chichester area expressing our concerns over a planning application for 750 dwellings on the west side of the city. The text of the letter is as follows:

 

Joined up Planning

It may seem unusual for an environmental organisation like ours, the South Downs Society – the “Friends” group for the South Downs National Park – to focus attention on the need for a new road link but that’s our strong plea in connection with the current planning application for up to 750 houses on the west side of Chichester, described as “West Of Centurion Way And West Of Old Broyle Road”.

We campaigned against the loss of this site for new housing but we lost – it’s now allocated for development. But, if and when Chichester District Council agree a scheme for the site, it shouldn’t be allowed to proceed without a satisfactory highway access, and that’s what is in real danger of happening. The current application seeks permission to access the site from a new roundabout junction with the B2178 Old Broyle Road, with the general intention that at some unspecified time it will be possible to link the development to the A27 to the south. Meanwhile, the traffic generated by the new development will head in a variety of unsatisfactory directions, including through the national park.

The South Downs Society has submitted its objection to the planning application on this basis and we would invite others to join us. The District Council has a duty in law to demonstrate that it is taking the national park into consideration whenever it makes decisions – it must show that awareness now.