Category Archives: Planning

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)

Objection to Whitehouse Farm Phase 2 Parcel B 91 homes

The Society has objected on 15 July to the plannng application 19/01531/REM – All outstanding Reserved Matters for the erection of 91 dwellings with associated parking, landscaping, informal open space and associated work on Phase 2, Parcel B, pursuant to permission 14/04301/OUT.

The Executive Committee had the following comments on this application and asked the Council to seek modification of these details of the proposal to improve the contribution of this development in the growth of Chichester.

  • We support the local objectors’ concern that no traffic measures are being implemented for improvement in safety or dealing with congestion and air quality on the Old Broyle Road and St Paul’s Road .
  • The implementation of the architectural character studies has been disappointing and is restricted to random sprinkling of brick colours render finish and artificial slate and concrete tile roofs. We couldn’t ascertain what materials and finish are proposed for windows and external doors. Unlike Parcel A there are no chimneys or 2.5 storey features proposed but as for the earlier phase more articulation of facades and attaching of detached houses to form architectural groups would improve place making.
  • Parcel B, like Parcel A, is remote from all community facilities and the current 2 hourly bus service into the City produces a car dependent settlement. This is exacerbated by the lack of permeability out of the site for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The provision of tandem parking to many houses is a difficult feature in user experience.
  • There needs to be a proposal for landscaping the buffer zone between Parcel B and the retained Whitehouse Farm property to the east.
  • Security for public open spaces should be provided with r-orientating houses to overlook

 

Objections to outstanding Reserved Matters for the erection of 73 residential dwellings Whitehouse Farm

The Chichester Society objected to various matters that arose in the planning application from Miller Homes and Linden Homes concerning the erection of 73 dwellings in Land West of Centurion Way and West of Old Broyle Road.

Proposed character areas

In particular the following objections were made:

  • The overlong access drive to the SANG car parking creates an un-necessary suburban
    element of what is currently a country road out of the City.
  • The provision of tandem parking to most houses is a difficult feature in user experience.
  • The implementation of the architectural character studies has been disappointing in particular with the provision of dummy chimneys, painted brick facades, uPVC windows and that more articulation of facades and attaching of detached houses to form architectural groups would improve place making.
  • This first phase to be built is well screened, but is remote from all community facilities and the current 2 hourly bus service into the City produces a car dependent settlement.
  • The preponderance of culs de sac adds to vehicle journey lengths.
  • The affordable and shared ownership housing is readily identifiable ranged along the side closest to traffic noise rather than scattered throughout the estate.

The reference document in question is the West of Chichester Residential Architectural Design Strategy available to view here as Part 1 and Part 2.

Full details of the planning application 19/01134/REM and of comments made can be viewed on the Council website here.

ChiSoc object to new late venue in Terminus Road

An application was lodged by Mr Kieran Stanley in March relating to the property ‘Feather and Black’ in Terminus Road to create  “a Dinner Dance Show Experience with Live Shows and Late night Music to be enjoyed by all ages and families” designed for all types of celebrity acts. Opening times for restaurant, dining and leisure use envisage from 12:00 (13:00 on Sunday) to 03:00 every day.

The Society’s Executive Committee would welcome the provision of a major venue in Chichester and believe there is an opportunity to provide this in a purpose-built facility within the Southern Gateway Regeneration Area close to a rebuilt City Transport Hub. However they were of the opinion that this Terminus Road property is not suitable for this purpose and would be better utilised for relocating the bus depot and post office to
free up the Southern Gateway site.

Their specific objections were:

  • The hours of operation and the large audience numbers will cause a noise and behavioural nuisance for residents.
  • This property does not offer adequate parking nor acoustic insulation.
  • The proposed use would clash with the recently permitted change of use to a church at the adjacent Ambulance Station.
  • There are not adequate or believable studies submitted regarding fire safety, acoustic performance, and the traffic plan of the proposed use with the large audience numbers.

Full details of the application and of responses from the public can be found here 

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.

 

 

Good by Design – The view of the Horsham Society – so what is ours?

‘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 here to 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:

  1. 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;
  2. creates a distinctive sense of place through high quality townscape and landscaping that physically and visually integrates with its surroundings;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. incorporates and/or links to high quality Green Infrastructure and landscaping to enhance biodiversity and meet recreational needs, including public rights of way
  6. is built to last, functions well and is flexible to changing requirements of occupants and other circumstances;
  7. 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
  8. 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,
  9. provides a high standard of amenity for existing and future neighbours, occupiers and users of the development;
  10. creates safe communities and reduces the likelihood and fear of crime;
  11. 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;
  12. ensures a sufficient level of well-integrated car and bicycle parking and external storage;
  13. 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 our contact page. However before doing so you might like to consult the full Local Plan Review here

ChiSoc responds to the Local Plan Review

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 here for background to the comments

On Policy 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.

Draft Local Plan Review and Transport Study

THE LOCAL PLAN AND REVIEW

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) ran from 13 December 2018 to 7 February 2019.

The document can be viewed here Local Plan Review 2016-2035

THE TRANSPORT STUDY

Peter Brett Associates (PBA) was commissioned to undertake a transport assessment to inform the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan Review (LPR) 2016-2035.

The Transport Study can be viewed here Transport Study

Amongst other considerations within the study it ranked the 6 junctions along the A27 in the following priority of construction:

1 Fishbourne Roundabout
2 Bognor Road Roundabout
3 Portfield Roundabout
4 Oving Junction
5 Stockbridge Junction
6 Whyke Junction

Council has extra housing allocation ‘dumped’ on it by SDNPA

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”.

(This is not a proposed development – merely indicative – like a cartoon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Design Protocol – An approach to achieving high quality design in developments

With housing developments ongoing and likely to accelerate it is timely to consider the Council’s approach to housing design.

The Chichester Design Protocol was published in 2013 and sets out the Council’s approach to making our District more successful through quality design. It is intended to underpin their commitment to achieving sustainable development. The protocol sets out how the Council will ensure that the design of buildings, places, spaces and the networks that make up our towns and city and rural areas, work for all of us, both now and in the future.

The Chichester Society noted at the time that CDC’s priority objective for more homes needs to be balanced by insisting on design quality and landscaping.

To this the Council responded that “policies in the adopted Local Plan seek to secure a high standard of design and layout in new development and aim to ensure that development respects the character of its surroundings. Development at the strategic development locations (e.g. West of Chichester) is also subject to a Planning ‘Concept Statement’ prepared by Council officers and approved by the Council which sets out a clear statement of design guidance and principles that informed the preparation of masterplans by the developers to ensure that a coordinated approach is taken to the development and associated infrastructure and in subsequent applications for outline and detailed planning permission. The planning system allows applicants to apply for outline planning permission to establish the quantum and principles of development prior to developing more detailed plans of the scheme. Subsequent applications for reserved matters approval are subject to the Council’s usual public notification and consultation procedures and the same referral criteria to the Planning Committee as for outline applications under the Council’s constitution also apply. There is, therefore, ample opportunity for the public to be engaged in the planning process for such applications”.

The full document can be read here.

It is not known if the Council plans to update this document.