50th Anniversary in 2023!

We are celebrating the birth of the Chichester Society in the autumn of 1973.  It was born as protest against changes that were viewed as wrecking this city’s character.  We honour David Goodman whose inspirational address was greeted by acclamation and a wish to preserve rather than destroy, illustrated by Somerstown’s demolition during the previous decade – whose demise we record in our December newsletter*.

The Chichester Society wants the best for this city: housing that is affordable, good public transport, a vibrant city centre; somewhere that is clean, tidy and respectful of our heritage, admired by residents and visitors alike.  We welcome initiative and growth, especially when allied to youthful endeavour, which is why we’re pleased to publish a good-news article* on the University of Chichester’s success.

Our problems are not unique because the clash between urban growth and conservation is experienced across the country. But Chichester, squeezed between the Downs and Harbour, is experiencing wholly inappropriate development.  This country invented the planning system as protection fromurban sprawl but the setting of our city is being rapidly destroyed. In recent years we have lost farmland separating the town from nearby villages such as Westhampnett, leaving only a gap, the Daffodil Field, between Summersdale and Lavant remaining.  We have built hundreds of new dwellings encircling our city.  We endure traffic levels that are unacceptable.  If our Local Plan can be approved we can at least reduce new housing numbers to some extent.

We are fortunate to live in a town of charm and character.  But the development threats whilst no new Local Plan is in place are being repeated on a damaging scale today as a result of Planning Appeals.
The case is clear – let’s argue for the best that good planning and architecture can provide.

*the December newsletter has been delivered to members, and will be available on this site in the spring.  In the meantime do look at the 25th anniversary newsletter that describes the momentous events that provoked the start of the Chichester Society.