Category Archives: Highways

A defined route over which “the public at large” can pass and re-pass as frequently as they wish, without hindrance and without charge.

The Society urges Southern Gateway developer to consider removal of a level crossing

Chichester District Council has selected its preferred development partner, Henry Boot Developments, to deliver the Southern Gateway regeneration project. There has been a delay in the developer publishing their proposal for the Redevelopment and this has provided the opportunity for the Society to bring to their attention “The Height Limited Underpass “, proposed by the Society as a solution to the level crossing problem which blights the Southern Gateway.

This they did in a letter to the developer on 22 June in which they noted that Chichester District Council had concluded with their Regeneration Master-Plan that there was nothing that could be done to remove the crossings despite the public response in the consultation, and in other surveys, that the crossings should be removed.

The letter also referred to the Society’s disappointment at Chichester District Council’s handling of the consultation process as expressed in the Society’s March 2018 Newsletter in the article “Consult, then carry on regardless”. They also referred the developer to 3 articles -”Southern Gateway- A Better Solution”, “A Height Limited Underpass” and “Introducing The Forum Quarter” (the Gateway+ proposal which the Society supported) in the December 2018 issue.

The Society urged the developer, the District Council, West Sussex Council and Network Rail to take this ultimate opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past.


More details of the proposed underpass can be found on this website here

The History of Chichester in 400 Street Names

A Book review by David Wilson of “The Street Names of Chichester” published by Chichester City Council
978-0-9542252-2-3. Available from the Council House, £4.95

Although first published in 1996 (authored by Ken Green) and revised in 2008 by Guy Clifford and Helen Monckton, this is a surprisingly little-known book that provides an excellent guide to the street names of Chichester.

It is not just about the ancient street names, though some of these reveal unexpected sidelights on the development of the City, but follows through on modern names which we pass every day in the estates and side streets without a second thought. Many of these have been inspired by personalities and events in Chichester’s past and taken together, form an alternative and informative history of the City.

North/South/East/West streets are indeed ancient and have an obvious origin (Sussex towns seem to have a penchant for naming streets after points of the compass!), but some of the oldest names are less obvious. Broyle Road dates back to a Brullius, or hunting park, granted to Bishop Neville by Henry III in 1229. St Pancras is named for the church which itself dates to before 1309. That may be named after either a saint who gained converts in Taormina, Sicily in 40 AD, or a 14-year-old boy in Rome canonised after beheading for his conversion to Christianity, but what are either doing here?

St Pancras; Fitting that a Roman saint should be remembered by a Roman road

As for the obscure saints who have streets in Chichester, St. Cyriac and St Rumbold, you will have to read the book!

Many people asked to indulge in some free association between Chichester and history will start by thinking of the Cathedral and its bishops. Indeed some 20-odd bishops and deans are commemorated by street names. Bishop Luffa will be familiar to most through both a Close and the nearby school – but how many realise that the road running through the middle of that estate, Sherborne Road, is not named after the Dorset town, but after Bishop Sherborne who was appointed in 1508?

Sherborne Road; Bishop Sherborne was noted for his patronage of learning – perhaps the school should be named after him instead?

The whole of that area reads like a complete roll call of church history in Sussex, but there are a few bishops to be found elsewhere. Mount Lane is not named for a hill but after Archdeacon Mount, appointed 1887. (Challenge: can you name the other road which suggests a hill in Chichester, but is actually named after a bishop?)

After the bishops come the Mayors. A similar number of roads are named after Mayors of Chichester, and again, mostly on estates which have taken up this theme. The earliest mayors, for some reason, appear on the Whyke estate, going back as far as William Taverner who was in office in 1249. Most of the other streets named after Mayors used to appear on the Orlit estate – the explanation of Orlit, named after the prefabs there, is in the book but you have to search for it – and that area now forms part of Swanfield. Redevelopment has caused a purge of Mayors there, though some names still appear on older street maps. The only ‘surviving mayor’ in Swanfield is Bradshaw Road, Elisha Bradshaw having been Mayor in 1536 though newer roads such as Seddon Close (James Seddon, 1972) have been named after more recent mayors.

Bradshaw Road; This is in Swanfield – for other medieval mayors you will have to go to Whyke

Many street names properly commemorate benefactors, often Mayors, who provided for the welfare of Cicestrians, including almshouses (Cawley Road), schools (Oliver Whitby Road; one of the few where the Christian name is included), simply money (Juxon Close) and day centres (Tozer Way).

Cawley Road; John Cawley, the father was Mayor three times and founded the almshouses in Broyle

Service to the city is also included as at Silverlock Close; Fanny Silverlock was a leading figure in the Guides and is one of the few women to be remembered in a street name.

Other themed names which link to the city’s history also turn up in appropriate locations. The military are present at Roussillon Park and the pioneers of mental health at Graylingwell (but see below for more on these). There are also medical names – Bostock and Baxendale – tucked away behind St Richard’s Hospital and Forbes Place by the former Royal West Sussex Hospital where Dr Forbes was the first superintendent. On a broader theme it is obvious that all the roads in the East Broyle Estate to the North West of the City  are named after English cathedral cities  – but the challenge is to find all 17 cities whose names were used (including the one omitted from the book!) and then to name the 25 who were not chosen. There is no indication as to why Carlisle and Truro are included but not, say, Ripon and Portsmouth.

East Broyle; A view of the cathedral from Wells Crescent on the so-called Cathedral Estate

Ordinary people have made their bid for immortality, though, mostly those who built the houses now standing there. Some of these names seem to record a family compromise – Winden Avenue = Winifred + Dennis. And one which has always puzzled me personally – Velyn Avenue – turns out to be named for the builder’s daughter Evelyn.

Velyn Avenue; Evelyn was the daughter of Mr Keates, the builder hereabouts

In the same area there are names from northern France commemorating the death in WW1 of the brother of Frederick Keates, the builder.

There are also many examples of streets being named for their uses. Pubs come top of this list with the oldest being Crane Street, recorded in 1277, and thought to be named for an inn there. But there are also examples of names remembering market gardens, ironworks, transport and quarries. Perhaps the oddest, which I thought must be apocryphal until I saw it in print, is the story of how a select part of Summersdale came to have a set of roads named after drain covers!

This review has spilt the beans on perhaps 5% of the examples in the book. That should surely be an incentive to buy it and discover more examples of Chichester’s history all around you!

New Streets

However, there are new streets  which have been built since the book was published in 2008, and if you do the ‘Green Spaces in Chichester’ walk described  in the September 2020 Society Newsletter, you will pass some of these.

In the Roussillon Park  development off Broyle Road  the older roads are named after Colonels of the Royal Sussex Regiment which used the barracks from 1873 onwards, and of Generals who had raised regiments which became incorporated into the Royal Sussex. These names appear in the book. Some of the newer roads, on the south side of the Square, have been named after men of the Royal Sussex who were awarded the Victoria Cross:

Carter Road: to honour Company Sergeant-Major Nelson Victor Carter VC (1887-1916)
When serving with the 12th Battalion at the Boar’s Head, Richebourg l’Avoue, France, he led a successful attack inflicting casualties and capturing a machine gun. Later he carried several wounded men to safety before being mortally wounded himself. The award of the Victoria Cross was for his most conspicuous bravery.

Looking along Carter Road with Johnson Mews on the right

Johnson Mews: to honour Major-General Dudley Johnson VC, CB, DSO, MC(1884-1975)
When commanding the 2nd Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment he successfully led them in forcing a crossing of the Sambre-Oise Canal in France in 1918. An officer on secondment from the South Wales Borderers, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his conspicuous bravery and leadership.

McNair Way: to honour Captain Eric Archibald McNair VC (1894-1918)
In February 1916, an enemy mine exploded under the front-line trenches held by the 9th Battalion. Although much shaken, he at once organised his men and with a machine gun team drove off the advancing enemy. Then, across open ground and under heavy fire, he brought forward reinforcements. The award of the Victoria Cross was for his most conspicuous bravery.

Queripel Mews: to honour Captain Lionel Ernest Queripel VC (1920-1944)
At the Battle of Arnhem, when serving with The Parachute Regiment, he rescued a wounded Sergeant and was wounded himself. He led an attack on a strongpoint and re-captured a British anti-tank gun. Later as his company position became untenable, he ordered his men to withdraw but stayed behind to give them covering fire. The award of the Victoria Cross was for his courage, leadership, and inspiration to all.

In the expanding Graylingwell development to the North East of the City the following new streets can be noted.

Lloyd Road is named for Robert Lloyd, horticulturist and Head Gardener at Brookwood Asylum, who designed the gardens and especially the ‘airing courts’ for Graylingwell and other asylums as healing spaces.

Connolly Way is named for John Conolly (he spelt his name with one ‘n’, unlike the road), a Victorian psychiatrist who with Lord Shaftesbury drafted the Lunacy Act of 1853 which shifted the treatment of the insane from restraint to medicine. He practised in Chichester about 1820 at the outset of his career and in 1839 became Superintendent of the Hanwell Asylum where he was able to apply principles, it being the first major asylum to dispose of all mechanical restraints. His son Edward was born in Chichester, but emigrated to New Zealand where as lawyer and politician he was able to institute his father’s principles of rehabilitation to the New Zealand penal system.


Conolly Way is the southern boundary of Havenstoke Park

Just off the route of the ‘Green Spaces in Chicester’ walk, the newest part of the estate is Anna Sewell Way. Anna Sewell was born in 1820 in Norfolk and lived at ‘Grayling Well House’ the farmhouse to the east of the asylum, from 1853 to 1858. She was unmarried and lived with her parents; her father was manager of ‘The London And County Bank’, a forerunner of and on the site of the Natwest Bank in East Street. She only published her famous children’s novel, Black Beauty, much later, in 1877 a few months before her death in Norwich.

Anna Sewell Way is between the former asylum and the hospital, not at all close to the farmhouse where she lived

Longley Road which winds through the centre of the main buildings recalls the builders of the original asylum, James Longley of Crawley, established 1863 and who continued in business until taken over by Kier Group for £1 in 2000.

POSTSCRIPT

This review came to be written because my wife and I have been doing walks in Chichester during lockdown rather than getting the car out to go further afield. The result will appear in a ‘Green Spaces in Chichester’ walk to appear in the September 2020 edition of the Chichester Society newsletter.

I had intended to include something about street names in notes to go with the walk but found too much material to be included there. Part of the way through the research I discovered that the City Council had published the book reviewed above, doing a much more thorough job than I could hope to do. Hence the review.

Al fresco dining – at a cost under review

The Chichester Vision, outlined in the District Council’s publication Chichester Tomorrow‘ envisages open spaces, places to rest and pedestrianised areas with space for eating out, art and performance, and other leisure activities.  Those visiting our City often welcome areas to sit outside – whether for a coffee, more formal al fresco dining or because they can’t smoke inside the adjoining establishment.

However, to provide some of these facilities comes at a cost  as it is a legal requirement of West Sussex County Council for businesses to have a licence for tables and chairs positioned on the highway, including pavements – and they have  to adhere to various terms and conditions. The Council has apparently recorded a significant rise in complaints due to the increase in tables and needs to assess each location for its suitability.

As of January 2020 the annual fee for placing tables and chairs on the highway is £520. However, the price is subject to change each financial year and the Council has initiated a consultation which closes on 24 February with a decision due March 2020.

Benefits from developing South West of Chichester

John Templeton explains why your Society supports these proposals

Although the Local Plan for Chichester District was adopted in 2015 the Government has instructed it must be reviewed to address the ‘Objectively Assessed Need’ for yet more housing. Last winter Chichester District Council (CDC) consulted on revisions to the Local Plan that included a new Strategic Site Allocation for greenfield land south west of Stockbridge, between the Chichester bypass and Chichester Harbour. This has set alarm bells ringing loudly!

The Council’s proposal is to develop about 85 hectares of which around 35 hectares would be for employment uses, plus at least 100 new homes and a country park. Also included is a new road link from the A27 Fishbourne (aka Tesco) roundabout to the A286 Birdham Road, south of Stockbridge. The plan below shows an outline route for this road based on a transport study by Peter Brett Associates commissioned by CDC.

To the surprise of some of our members the Society supported this proposal. Whilst we have long argued that priority for new housing should be on brownfield land within the city itself we can see many benefits that could arise from this new proposal, and which we outline below.

Link road benefits

Firstly, a link road to Stockbridge would not only serve the new developments but would provide an additional link to the towns and villages on the Manhood Peninsular and at the same time reduce congestion and pollution at Stockbridge and the dangerous rat-run of Apuldram Lane.

View across fields from the public footpath east of Apuldram Lane towards the city, some of which could become a country park. Photo: John Templeton

Understanding landscape

Some 15 years ago CDC commissioned a major landscape strategy of all potential development land surrounding the city. It was published in 2005 as The Future Growth of Chichester: Landscape and Visual Amenity Considerations. Areas assessed around the city included fields west of Stockbridge near to Chichester Harbour. Land close to Stockbridge was found to be of poor quality with gappy hedgerows and no views of the cathedral or of the Downs. But to the west, medieval field boundaries still existed with mature trees and hedgerows forming part of the rural setting of both the city and the hamlet of Apuldram, with distant views of the cathedral spire and the Downs beyond.

Rural gap benefits

It is therefore essential that a new link road, well screened with trees and hedgerows, must form the western limit to any extension to Stockbridge, with land to the west retained as a rural gap between the city and the harbour. It should be carefully landscaped as meadows, indeed maybe water meadows because much of it is in a flood-risk area, with the meandering river Lavant (when it flows!) contributing to the proposed wildlife corridor between the Harbour and the Downs. At present the only access to this land is a poorly defined public footpath between the city and the harbour, with a footbridge over the railway to Terminus Road and a highly dangerous crossing of the dual carriageway A27 bypass. This is the shortest walk from the city to the sea, but please don’t risk your life even wearing a high-viz jacket! This route should be upgraded as a footpath/ cycleway with a pedestrian bridge over the bypass, also connecting to the new development (a case for Section 106 Planning gain?).

A new link road to and from Stockbridge would reduce the present excessive use of Apuldram Lane Photo: John Templeton

Housing and employment benefits

As for the development itself, the most obvious location for housing would be towards the southern end, close to Stockbridge to benefit from the shops and community facilities already there, as well as the quarter hour bus service along the Birdham Road. Further north, towards the A27, well designed employment development could take place, which would attract new firms to the city. Creating new employment north of Stockbridge would also enable vacant or underused sites on the city’s industrial estates at Terminus Road and Quarry Lane to be reallocated for much needed affordable housing within walking distance of the city centre.

Agreeing a master plan

Unlike other major greenfield developments underway which could provide no benefits to the existing city, this new proposal for south west Chichester if properly planned will have major benefits. It is however essential that the community is involved in the drawing up of an agreed master plan and that this is adhered to as the development progresses. The devil will be is in the detail!

(This article originally appeared in the September 2019 edition of the Society’s Newsletter)

Chichester’s Southern Gateway – an update

Robin Hamilton updates readers about the Gateway+ development campaign

This is an update on the Gateway + campaign to offer a dynamic alternative to the Southern Gateway proposal by Chichester District Council (CDC). We see the Gateway+ proposal more as a development of the CDC initiative rather than an alternative. The recognition of the need to develop the southern part of Chichester is in no doubt. It is how this opportunity should be grasped is where we differ.

Please support this initative – we welcome comments added to this post
How we came this far

 You may well have seen our previous articles aboutGateway + but in case you didn’t, here is a short synopsisof the history of Gateway+. Early in 2018 a small groupof local residents met to discuss the recently publishedproposals for the Southern Gateway. They felt that CDC’sproposals did not go nearly far enough consideringthis is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do somethingin Chichester that will be a lasting memory of ourgeneration. After some research into what residents andbusinesses would like to happen in this part of Chichesterthe group organised a presentation in Pallant HouseGallery in June last year. The reception by those who attended, and the general public since then, has beenvery encouraging – particularly from the younger peopleof Chichester!

Outline plans

Since then the Gateway+ proposals have been honed to the outline plans we have today.

Revised layout for the Forum development as proposed by Gateway+. Note that all facilities are within easy walking distance of
each other, the Station and other forms of public transport

In summary, we propose a development that would create an Exhibition/ Conference Hall of 100,000 square feet. This would be capable of holding medium sized exhibitions, concerts and performances seating around 2,500 people. We are naming this cultural centre The Forum to hint at the city’s Roman history. Alongside The Forum we propose a 250-bedroom Forum Hotel while in front of The Forum would be a large open area for temporary stalls and socialising named the Forum Square. Our research shows there is a need for some small business starter units with accommodation above which we suggest could be built to the west called the Forum Village. Gateway+ foresees this might develop into Chichester’s Silicon Valley. Finally, we have learnt that NHS England would like to provide a new medical centre for primary care, and Gateway+ proposes a new building currently called The Forum Lozenge which might be renamed the Forum Medical Centre. Our suggested layout can be understoodin the aerial street plan below.

Aerial perspective of the proposed Forum Quarter created alongside Chichester Station
Chichester Station

We also understand Network Rail would very much like to consider developing the station and create at least one more platform so that they would have the opportunity to run a metro line between Chichester and Bognor, which would be a vital ingredient to reducing traffic along the A27 and A259. Indeed, the University would also very much like this because their two campuses are served by buses at the moment. Our proposal suggests a new station with high level concourse to house the ticket office and shops with escalators down to the platform. This would also serve to link the Forum to the Southern Leisure Park.

Replace the level crossings

Gateway+ proposals also tackle one of the most contentious issues on the south side of Chichester, which are the level crossings. We propose that both crossings should be removed and replaced with a two-way underpass at Basin Road sufficient in height for single decker buses to pass. Some believe this is not possible, but we have consulted at least two engineers who confirm it is indeed technically achievable.

Simplify the road layout

Gateway+ proposals also provide a solution to the currently chaotic road layout which causes appalling delays and serious environmental problems. As part of this revised layout a new Transport Hub would be situated between the Ave de Chartres Car Park and The Forum, where buses, taxis, coaches, and maybe electric mini trams could operate.

Chichester’s changed political context

As you will all now know there has been a seismic shift in CDC’s political balance after the May local elections. The previous Gateway+ proposals were not adequately received by the previous council whose Masterplan is now well out of date and does not deal with the problems faced by Chichester and its inhabitants. Gateway+ now hopes to promote our ideas to the newly elected council members and we have indeed had very supportive comments from many of those now representing us all. We are particularly encouraged by the support of all parties after recent discussions. We are aware that CDC is assessing interest from developers to their Southern Gateway Master Plan based on a development brief sent out in April 2019. We also understand that Council officers are not fixed on the current proposals and if Councillors or any other parties wish to suggest other schemes, they will take these into account. We see the Gateway+ job is to make sure all Councillors are aware of our ideas so they can reach a much bolder proposal for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance what Chichester has to offer.

Please help Gateway+

We ask you to consider helping in the following ways:

  • Contact your councillor and ask them to support Gateway+
  • Discuss Southern Gateway with your friends and encourage them to do the same thing • Let us have your email address so we can keep you informed.
  • Consider contributing a small amount (say, £10) to our campaign. You can find out details of how to contribute on our website whose address is: http://www.gateway-plus.co.uk/about.

We plan to have a further meeting in the City to update everyone on our campaign. We hope we can count on your support and do get in touch if you wold like more information or would like to get more involved with Gateway+.

We need funds to accelerate our publicity so that we create a groundswell for these ideas. Our intention is to spread the word far and wide so we cannot be ignored by those who will finally make the decision of what is to happen to Chichester’s so-called Southern Gateway.

(This article originally appeared in the September 2019 edition of the Society’s Newsletter)

Chichester Proposed Parking Management Plan – the Society’s Response

The Chichester proposed parking management plan went out for consultation earlier this year and related to the earlier Roadspace Audit study which can be found here.

The study included various recommendations relating to parking and it to these that the Chichester Society has responded. Members of the Chichester Society’s Executive Committee visited the various displays and discussed the substance of the study. Their response has been submitted and can be found here.

 

 

Chichester Parking Management Plan – public consultation

The timescales for the consultation has been updated with a delay of a few days.

Key changes to the consultation timeline include:

 The consultation start date is revised from 25th February to 1st March (at which point the online consultation page will also be made live)

  • A press article is scheduled for release by 24th February
  • 25th February exhibition at the Swanfield Community Centre revised to 25th March between 2pm and 8pm
  • 27th February exhibition at the Chichester Baptist Church revised to 20th March at The Old Courtroom, Chichester City Council Offices between 10am and 4pm
  • 1st and 2nd March exhibitions at The Old Courtroom, Chichester City Council Offices between 10am and 4pm as originally planned.
  • Informal consultation finishes after 4 weeks on 31st March as originally planned.

This matter relates the Council’s Road Space Audit for which the final report can be viewed here

Chichester Road Space Audit – the Society’s Response and now your chance

(RSA image and main text on this page sourced from linked websites and here)

West Sussex County Council has reviewed how it develops parking schemes across the County and working in partnership with Chichester District Council, a pilot study has recently been undertaken in Chichester. This more progressive approach towards parking management, known as a Road Space Audit (RSA) has tried to determine if there are other ways for the County Council and its partners to consider existing and future parking demands.

See copies of the final report and the executive summary.
The Society was among a limited group of consultees given early access to the Report and submitted a response in November last year which is available here.

The RSA is designed to be an enabling study that complements existing statutory plans and emerging studies in respect of transport infrastructure, parking policy and spatial planning, such as ‘A Vision for Chichester’.

County Councillors and officers at West Sussex County Council are now keen to ascertain whether members of the public are in support of the broad themes raised within the RSA and if these fit in with their aspirations on what they would like Chichester, the place, to be in the future. Please note that as yet, nothing has been decided and further discussions will take place pending the outcome of this consultation exercise.

The online survey form can be accessed here. The closing date for responses is 31 October 2017.

Freeflow – an alternative vision for the Southern Gateway

Consultation on the Southern Gateway ends on 10 August. A meeting to discuss Freeflow takes place at 6:30 Thursday 3 August Assembly Rooms. If you wish to support this proposal you can sign a petition here

Many are seeking changes to the Southern Gateway plan as it is deemed as flawed because it does not address the  need to avoid the current congestion at the 2 railway crossing to the South.

Freeflow offers the City a gateway worthy of the name by providing a dedicated new road and bridge solution, removing congestion, pollution and mounting frustration of those trying to access Chichester.  It proposes the closure of both crossings saving over 20,000 working days wasted every year waiting at the crossings.

The route creates minimal visual impact allowing the closure of both crossings, and with minimal impact on the road network during construction of the bridge

Freeflow offers significant public realm benefits around the train station, removing the through traffic making it pedestrian and cycle friendly

Freeflow proposes a high quality Exhibition / Conference / Performance venue, Hotel, Commercial and Retail space and additional homes to enhance the local economy and create a vibrant southern quarter to Chichester

Freeflow will help alleviate traffic congestion on the A27 by not requiring people to divert to other access routes into the city as they currently do