‘Good by Design’ is the Horsham Society’s views on what constitutes good design in Horsham. It combines and expands content from the Horsham Town Design Statement adopted by Horsham District Council in December 2008 and from the Design Protocol of Chichester District Council, December 2013. Click hereto view their document.
The notes are intended as guidance as to what the Horsham Society is looking for and are intended as starting point and the employment of judgement and evaluation are very much matters for the observers themselves.
So what are our views on such matters for Chichester?
The Chichester Society, through its Executive Committee, recently made known its views on the Chichester District Council’s Local Plan Review (the Review is available here).
In particular in relation to ‘ Section S20 – Design’ (reproduced below from the Review) ‘ChiSoc welcomed this additional policy and supported its purpose in the Plan
Policy S20: Design
All proposals for new development will be required to be of high quality design that:
responds positively to the site and its surroundings, cultural diversity and history, conserves and enhances historic character and reinforces local identity or establishes a distinct identity whilst not preventing innovative responses to context;
creates a distinctive sense of place through high quality townscape and landscaping that physically and visually integrates with its surroundings;
provides a clear and permeable structure of streets, routes and spaces that are legible and easy to navigate through because of the use of street typology, views, landmarks, public art and focal points;
is well connected to provide safe and convenient ease of movement by all users, prioritising pedestrian and cycle movements both within the scheme and neighbouring areas and ensuring that the needs of vehicular traffic does not dominate at the expense of other modes of transport, or undermine the resulting quality of places;
incorporates and/or links to high quality Green Infrastructure and landscaping to enhance biodiversity and meet recreational needs, including public rights of way
is built to last, functions well and is flexible to changing requirements of occupants and other circumstances;
addresses the needs of all in society by incorporating mixed uses and facilities as appropriate with good access to public transport and a wide range of house types and tenures
is visually attractive and respects and where possible enhances the character of the surrounding area in terms of its scale, height, density, layout, massing, type, details, materials,
provides a high standard of amenity for existing and future neighbours, occupiers and users of the development;
creates safe communities and reduces the likelihood and fear of crime;
secures a high quality public realm with well managed and maintained public areas that are overlooked to promote greater community safety, with clearly defined private spaces;
ensures a sufficient level of well-integrated car and bicycle parking and external storage;
is sustainable and resilient to climate change by taking into account landform, layout, building orientation, massing and landscaping to minimise energy consumption and mitigate water run-off and flood risks.
Now it’s your turn!
We would welcome your views on such design issues whether on major developments or ones that affect a particular locality. You may do so via ourcontact page. However before doing so you might like to consult the full Local Plan Review here
Having considered the content of the Review document the Society has filed the following comments and suggested changes on development principles, transport strategy, design, the Southern Gateway and land allocation.
Please refer to the original document herefor background to the comments
OnPolicy S13: Chichester City Development Principles
ChiSoc welcome the minor changes proposed which include the protection of views of the cathedral. Please note the duplication of the policy on the city’s existing heritage, arts and culture
On Policy S14: Chichester City Transport Strategy
ChiSoc propose the following additional measures are included:
Replacement of the level crossings in Basin Road and Stockbridge Road by an underpass or bridge
Safeguarding of land to enable the expansion of the Chichester railway Station, its tracks and platforms, from 2 to 4 to enable a fast train service
Safeguarding of land close to the A27 for a future “park and ride”
Safeguarding of land close to the A27 for a “consolidation centre” for break bulk delivery to city retail units.
On Policy S20: Design
ChiSoc welcome this additional policy and support its purpose in the Plan
On Policy S23: Transport and Accessibility
ChiSoc welcome this additional policy and support its purpose in the Plan.
It especially welcomes the proposed New road connecting Birdham Road to A27 Fishbourne roundabout (see Policy AL6), known as the Stockbridge Link Road when first proposed by Highways England as part of Option 2b in the 2016 Consultation.
On Policy AL5: Southern Gateway
ChiSoc propose the following changes are made:
In site specific requirement number 3 we propose “3. Respect for the historic context, have regard to that part of Southern Gateway that lies within the Conservation Area and to the Listed Buildings and Heritage Assets, and make a positive contribution towards protecting and enhancing the local character and special heritage of the area and important historic views, especially those from the Canal Basin towards Chichester Cathedral;
We propose to add as site specific requirement number 4 “provision of a bridge or underpass to allow the removal of the level crossings on Stockbridge Road and Basin Road”
We propose the removal of paragraph 7
On Policy AL6: Land South-West of Chichester (Apuldram and Donnington Parishes)
ChiSoc supports this new policy, and its land allocation.
The Preferred Approach version of the Chichester Local Plan Review has now been published for consultation as part of the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan Review, for the Chichester plan area (outside the South Downs National Park). The consultation period for the Chichester Local Plan Review – Preferred Approach (Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning Act (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012) will run from 13 December 2018 to 7 February 2019.
Chichester District Council (CDC) explain on their website that : “changes to the way the Government requires us to calculate future housing needs means that we now plan to build at least 650 new homes each year in the Local Plan Area, up to 2035”.
But Planning Policy requires CDC to accommodate only 609 new homes each year; however, in addition, they are under a duty to add an allowance “for accommodating unmet need arising from the Chichester District part of the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).”
The SDNPA have a shortfall of 41 dwellings in what they say they can accommodate resulting in an additional 41 dwellings being added to the CDC figure making 650 new dwellings each year.
We question this decision because CDC has so little space on which to build all these houses.
To the north lies the SDNP, to the south lies the Chichester Harbour AONB and then the Manhood Peninsula which is part of the southern coastal plain. The southern coastal plain has some of the highest grade agricultural land in the country comprising highly productive brick earth strata and a climate suited to early ripening crops.
How can the SDNPA fail to provide sufficient space for their own housing needs despite towns such as Midhurst needing to expand?
Local Historian Alan Green on George Murray’s life, and plans for a commissioned sculpture in the cit.
There can be few living in Chichester who have not now heard of Admiral Sir George Murray following the “Murrayfest” held in 2015 and the recent newspaper publicity about the proposed statue of Murray and Nelson by Chichester sculptor Vincent Gray. Admiral Murray’s importance to the country as a whole as the naval officer of whom Nelson famously said “Murray or none”, is well known, but why is he so important to Chichester as to justify his own statue?
To sea aged eleven
George was the middle one of three surviving sons of George and Ann Murray all of whom went on to become prominent citizens, much involved with the life of their native city following the example of their father who was an alderman.1 George was born in January 1759 and baptised at St Peter the Great on 16 April that year.2
In 1770, at the tender age of eleven, George Murray joined the Royal Navy, rising swiftly through the ranks. He served under Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when the two men became very close friends. He was then sent to the Mediterranean serving as Captain of the Fleet under Nelson, and on 23 April 1804 he was promoted to rear admiral.
Naturally Murray spent most of his active service at sea but missed the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 as he had to remain ashore to sort out the estate of his late father in law; had Murray been at Trafalgar perhaps he, rather than Hardy could have been alongside Nelson when he died.
Life as a civilian
Admiral Murray made a significant impact on Chichester with the building of his grand new house on the corner of North Street and Guildhall Street (now The Ship, also known as the Harbour Hotel) between 1804 and 18063 John Marsh, that great Georgian diarist, obviously thought it rather pretentious when he recorded his first visit to the house on 7 February 1807:
On the next day we fix’d our first visit to Mrs G Murray at ye Admiral’s new House in North Street, term’d whilst it was building the Admiralty . There we met a large company in two rooms of six card tables, one of them a Commerce party of 13.4
After 1808 Admiral Murray did not go back to sea but instead became fully involved in the social life of his native city. John Marsh records several events at the house including the entertaining of royalty; the Prince and Princess of Hesse Hombourg no less (she the third daughter of George III) visited Chichester on 18 June 1818 and Marsh records that “[after] 2 & 3 o’clock… they went to breakfast at Sir G Murray’s”.5
He was also a member of the Book Society whose meetings were held at The Admiralty.
George also followed his father in serving on the Corporation, but prior to this he was awarded the Freedom of the Merchants’ Guild by the Mayor in September 1800. In October 1802, he was nominated for the office of Portreeve and in September 1815 he was elected Mayor.6
Admiral Murray was clearly a man of great wealth whose income enabled him to live a lifestyle commensurate with the scale of his new house: he amassed a considerable wine cellar which was put up for auction on 27 July 1819 after his death and realised £672 15s 6d – equivalent to £47094 at today’s prices7. Not only that, he sent his son George to be educated at Winchester College which cost him some £45 per term in fees.8
George Murray died at his North Street home in Chichester on 28 February 1819 aged 60. John Marsh lamented the loss of his friend, recording with genuine feeling in his journal:
Besides the loss to the Corporation and our Book Society, a valuable member of each, the society in general of Chichester and its vicinity had a great loss, there being no-one who was more universally liked or esteemed.9
Whilst the funeral services of his two brothers were held in the church of St Peter the Great, which at that time was still in the north transept of the Cathedral, that of George, on 8 March 1819, took place in the Cathedral proper, after which he was buried in the Close in the area bound by the cloisters known as Paradise.10
A fine monument to George, and his wife Ann who died in 1859, can be seen in the Sailors’ Chapel in the Cathedral. In 2013 a blue plaque to him was installed on the front of The Ship bearing those immortal words None but Murray will do.
Vincent Gray’s statue of Nelson and Murray will stand opposite The Admiralty in the front garden of 40 North Street (now Jack Wills); appropriately, this was the house of George Murray’s elder brother Richard.
WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
For a detailed history of the house see The Ship Hotel, Chichester built as the house of Admiral Sir George Mur – ray by Alan H J Green. New Chichester Paper No 6, Chich- ester Local History Society & The University of Chichester 2014
John Marsh History of my Private Life. John Marsh was a wealthy barrister who moved to Chichester in 1787. Every day he wrote about three pages in his journal giving us an authentic – if at times somewhat acerbic – picture of life in a Georgian cathedral city
John Marsh– op cit
WSRO C/3 Chichester Common Council minute book 1783- 1826
Ian Murray collection. A copy of the sale catalogue marked-up with the prices
Ian Murray collection – a statement of Admiral Murray’s account with the college. £45 is equivalent to £3,150 today
John March op cit 10. WSRO Cathedral Close burial register
WSRO Cathedral Close burial register
(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of the Society’s Newsletter)
Jon Barnett, the Motor Circuit’s General Manager, describes the history and future of this historic site from War-time fighter station to iconic star of the British motor scene.
The Goodwood Motor Circuit Aerodrome began life as RAF Westhampnett, satellite airfield to RAF Tangmere during the Second World War. However, this story begins before the outbreak of the war when the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon gifted this land to the war effort on 7 December 1938. It was designated as an Emergency Landing Ground. But with the fall of France in July 1940, Westhampnett received its first residents: the Hurricanes of 145 Squadron. Being one of the most southerly fighter stations, it was kept very busy, playing an important role in the Battle of Britain. Several well-known fighter aces flew from RAF Westhampnett including Douglas Bader, Johnny Johnson and ‘Cocky’ Dundas, as well as many Commonwealth pilots. By July 1942 the Americans had arrived: on the 26 July the 31 Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Force flew from RAF Westhampnett to join their British comrades in combat; they were the first US Fighter Group in the European theatre. But once the Allies moved across Europe, RAF Westhampnett’s importance declined. It was officially closed in 1946.
From airfield to race track
Goodwood’s race track had its beginnings with the original perimeter re-fuelling road for the Hurricanes and Spitfires in the years Westhampnett was a fighter station. How did this come about? The 9th Duke of Richmond – Freddie March – was a renowned amateur racer who had won the Brooklands Double 12 in 1930, later going on – as an engineer – to design both March sports car bodies and aircraft. He was approached by his friend, Squadron Leader Tony Gaze, who had flown from Westhampnett during the war years. Tony had raced his old MG round the service road in his down time, using fuel from the planes! This is why Tony was so sure the road would make a great race track and why he suggested converting the perimeter road into a motor racing circuit. Freddie March seized upon the idea. It wasn’t long before the Duke and Duchess officially opened the track by driving around the Circuit in a Bristol 400, then Britain’s state-of-the-art sporting saloon. The date was 18 September 1948, a Saturday. (The NHS was two months old).
The response was rapturous, for the British public had been deprived of motor racing during the Second World War when Brooklands had been forced to close its doors in 1939. Huge demand for wheel-to-wheel competition saw 85 drivers and over 15,000 spectators turning up to Goodwood to support the UK’s first professionally-organised post- war motor racing event. Imagine the picturesque scene at the foot of the Downs steeped in heritage. This same venue has since witnessed some of motor racings greatest heroes in action, including Juan Manuel Fangio, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss.
The Motor Circuit closes
By 1966, the Duke could foresee that the rapidly changing nature of front-line motor racing would require Goodwood to make sizeable investment in physical changes to the venue in order to continue. By now in his mid-Sixties, and by nature disinclined to follow the expensive dictates of the ‘authorities’, the Duke opted instead to stop all motor racing. Both he and later his son did have the foresight, however, to ensure the circuit continued to be used, and therefore maintained, for testing, Sprints and other uses for the next 30 years.
A new chapter
On 18 September 1998, exactly 50 years to the day since the Goodwood Circuit first opened, the 9th Duke’s grandson, the present Duke of Richmond, re-opened the Circuit in spectacular fashion – using a Bristol 400 identical to the model his grandfather had used half a century earlier. This was the very first Goodwood Revival meeting for which preparation had been meticulous, the Circuit restored to look exactly as it did in its heyday, down to the very last detail. Since then the Goodwood Revival has been held every year: thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing with some of the most valuable grid selections in the world, dancing to the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, the joy of the fun fair and the smell of engines mingled with perfume. Experience the Goodwood Revival and you experience the romance and glamour of motor racing as it used to be: a step back in time to the years between 1948 and 1966, when the joys of motor racing allowed the post-war world to kick off its heels and have a jolly good time.
The Circuit today
In addition to Goodwood’s Revival, the circuit today is a hub of activity year-round, now also hosting the two-day Goodwood Members’ Meeting in March. This weekend recaptures the atmosphere and camaraderie of the original British Automobile Racing Club meetings held from 1949 to 1966. But there is more, such as Motor Sports Association Sprints, Car Club Track Days and Manufacturer Press Days. Members of the public and corporate groups can get behind the wheel of their own car or choose to drive one from the Goodwood fleet, like the entire BMW M Performance range; or there is an eclectic mix of 1960’s classics including an Alfa, Porsche, Ford Falcon and MG amongst others. Moving on – new experiences.
Goodwood’s Motor Circuit continues to evolve and a new addition this year has been the introduction of a fleet of six classic Series 2 Land Rovers. To understand the world’s love affair with the Land Rover, you need to drive one and preferably drive a classic. So we offer the chance to drive off-road across the Downs on farm and forest tracks. We make no bones about it, these vehicles have seen life and they have character and patina, which makes them totally unique. As quintessentially British as a plate of fish and chips, the boxy, utilitarian Land Rover has become an iconic part of what it is to be British.
(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Society’s Newsletter)
There is a feasible option for alleviating the Chichester level crossing
misery. The Basin Road Low Headroom Underpass.
The Council’s Southern Gateway Regeneration Masterplan dismissed
the provision of a bridge over the railway as too costly and disruptive.
The Basin Road Low Headroom Underpass could accommodate
over 90% of road traffic with a 2.7 metre headroom including for15
seat minibuses and many vans. With a 1.3 metre construction for the
railway support, the resulting 4 metre underpass depth can be
achieved with relatively short 60 metre ramps at a reasonable 1 in 15
gradient. These ramps can be accommodated, north of the Kingsham
Road junction and south of the extended Avenue de Chartres junction.
In the context of the Southern Gateway Masterplan the Stockbridge
Road level crossing could serve buses, cyclists, mobility scooter users
and pedestrians preferring an “at grade” crossing. Lorry access to the
City Centre is restricted by the Council’s Traffic Plan and a height
warning would be implemented. Low headroom underpasses are an
accepted mode here and in Europe.
This solution would also fit with the exciting Gateway + Plan featured
in the July 25 presentation at Pallant House Gallery and has been accepted into their vision. Of all proposals to unlock the level crossing conundrum, this option
could work. Chichester District Council, are urged to give this idea due
consideration, this is a once in a lifetime chance for a solution to the
level crossing embarrassment.
Fancy a journey to Chichester’s ‘Little Ice Age’, a plunge in ‘Roman Baths’ or an introduction to needle making in the City? Then this book might be right for you. Local historian Philip MacDougall is the author of Amberley Publishing’s latest book from their A-Z series, this one dealing with Chichester. Within its 96 pages Philip spans the history of the City from the iron age to the present day providing over 70 snippets about places, people, events and curios.
The format (as for all A-Z titles) is an alphabetical list of topics with cross-referencing taking the place of the traditional book index – saving time in preparation perhaps but losing the facility to find that elusive information. Thus, if seeking information about Shippams you would not know that one entry can be found under ’Quintessentially English’.
As to examples of other entries the ‘ Es’ cover the history of ‘Eastgate Gail’, venues of ‘Entertainment’ throughout the years and the housing of ‘Evacuees’ during the second world war with highlighted cross references to the ‘Little Ice Age’, the ‘Corn Exchange’, ‘Sloe Fair’ and the ‘Council House’ for example.
The `Cs’ include the history of the ‘Caledonian Ironworks’, the ‘Canal Basin’ and the ‘Corn Exchange’ and introduce two local personalities, member of Parliament and benefactor Sir William ‘Cawley’ and local poet Charles ‘Crocker’ and include cross references to ‘Union Workhouse’ and ‘Smith Brothers’.
Locations in the City for such as these are often provided but it would have helped the visitor if a street map or some illustrative schematic of the City had been included to aid orientation (this lack also seems to be a feature of all A-Z titles). Having relied on an alphabetical listing the issue arises as to how to deal with the less common letters ‘X’ and ‘Z’ for example. For the former the entry is ‘Xmas Delight’ describing Ernest Shippam’s gifts and support to those of his staff who enlisted in the First World War. This war theme continues under the entries ‘Zeppelin’ and ‘Zealous and Passionate for War’.
The author acknowledges in his introduction that the book provides a light touch to Chichester’s history so those wanting further information or more of an academic study are pointed to other book titles of local interest. Those seeking an easy read and a ‘wetting of the appetite’ to delve further may find £14.99 well spent on this publication and a useful addition to other A-Z titles that they might have already acquired.
The title can be purchased direct from Amberley Publshing at www.amberley-books.com or, if in Chichester, from Waterstones in West Street or Kim’s bookshop in South Street, the latter being an antiquarian and specialist bookseller where you will certainly find a treasure trove of local interest publications.
On September 30, 1918, the 7th Duke of Richmond and Gordon gifted Priory Park to the people of Chichester for their leisure and as a perpetual memorial to the fallen in the First World War.
The centenary falls this year with a week of celebratory events from 21st to 30th September. To accompany this and provide a more permanent record, local historian Alan Green has selected in his new book 100 ‘objects’ (artefacts, people, events etc) that in some way are connected to the park. Drawing on a variety of sources and aided by a grant from the Chichester City Council the result is a cornucopia of colourful images spanning the period from Roman Times to the present day – passing on the way the Civil War in the 17th century, the Priory Park Society years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the interwar and war years.
All the ‘objects’ provide much to talk about, some being less familiar to the populace – so for some examples. The park has long been a location for public protest and pleasure. Thus, the Guildhall was the location for the trials of William Blake in 1804 (object 19) and of the Hawkhurst gang of smugglers in 1748 (object 16) while the Park was used for the protest rally against hospital closure plans in 2007 (object 90).
In contrast the Park’s grassy expanse has seen cricket since the 16th century (object 30), a bowling green from mid 17th century (object 39), tennis tournaments (object 47), and during the first world war entertainment for wounded soldiers (object 46).
Celebrations have over the years been conducted for royalty such as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 (object 37) and George V’s silver jubilee in 1935 (objects 60 and 61).
The span of true objects includes archaeological finds such as a fragment of an encaustic tile (object 9) from the long-lost Friary, the Coade Stone Druid statue (object 33) made of a patented ceramic, and locally-made cast-iron casement windows (object 29) in the refreshment room, these serving later as a clubhouse for cricketers and hockey players. The general public are now well served by Fenwick’s Café (object 94) started in 2013 as a temporary measure but now on a more permanent footing.
Personalities are not neglected, principally Charles, Earl of March and Kinrara (object 48) whose gift was the Park itself and who is the great-great-grandfather of the current Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the author of the book’s foreword. Various bodies were also granted the Corporate Freedom of the City of Chichester with the honour being conferred in the park, one being RAF Tangmere (object 82) in 1960, another the Royal Sussex Regiment (Object 74).
A support group was established in 2004 by the Chichester District Council and is now called the ‘Friends of Priory Park and Jubilee Gardens’ as its remit now includes the Jubilee Gardens.
Splendidly illustrated and furnished with an extensive index and references for those wishing to delve further, Alan’s book also provides a window on the life and times of the broader Chichester community.
It is published by Phillimore Book Publishing at £15 and copies are available from Kim’s bookshop, Waterstones, West Sussex Record Office and the Novium.
Acknowledgements (1) The cartographic town plan was that of George Loader surveyed in 1812 (2) The illustration comes from ‘A Gentleman at Chichester’ A full and Genuine History of the Inhuman and Unparalleled Murders of Mr William Galley etc etc London, 1749 (3) Image from West Sussex Record Office (4) Image from Alan Green (5) Image from Chichester City Council