Tag Archives: Southern gateway

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)

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.

The Draft Southern Gateway Masterplan is flawed in not addressing the level crossing misery

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.

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