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 Chichester Society has submitted its response via the questionnaire to the District Council’s draft Southern Gateway Masterplan. It can be viewed here.
While supporting the general thrust of the proposals the Society feels that the Master Plan is fundamentally flawed by not providing a solution for the level crossings misery. The provision of a bus gate and the existing crossing on Stockbridge Road and a shallow underpass for cars on or parallel to Basin Road is a workable solution.
As regards the Strategic Environmental Assessment the Society stated that the feasibility of the Master Plan aspirations and timetable require forward planning and investment now to enable the essential infrastructure items such as drainage, moving the bus depot, moving the Royal Mail Sorting Office, and land purchase for the underpass / level crossing solution.
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