Declaring a Climate Emergency – what’s this all about?

What does it mean?

Oxford Dictionaries declared “climate emergency” the word of the year for 2019, following a hundred-fold increase in usage that it says demonstrated a “greater immediacy” in the way we talk about the climate. It defined the term as ‘a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it’. However, the term ‘climate emergency’ has been around for some time, certainly before 2009.

What declarations have been made?

The first declaration of a climate emergency would seem to have been made by Darebin in December 2016, a council located in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne following sustained protests by various groups. It passed the motion that ‘Council recognises that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils’, and it agreed to establish an Energy and Environment Working Group to further develop Council proposals for a Darebin Energy Foundation and a Darebin Nature Trust.

At a UK government level the Scottish Parliament declared a climate emergency on 28 April 2019, making Scotland arguably the first country to do so. This was quickly followed by the National Assembly for Wales on the 29 April and then the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the UK as whole in 1 May.

The UK Government’s current target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050. This target was recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, the UK’s independent climate advisory body.

It has been documented by CACE (Council Action in the Climate Emergency) that as of November 2019 over 1200 local councils across 25 countries have declared a Climate Emergency.

What actions are being taken?

Declaring a climate emergency is not be an end in itself – plans and resources to address the emergency must follow. Actions need be taken at various levels by Individuals, community groups, businesses, local government, national government and international bodies.

Here at our local level the Chichester District Council approved in January 2020  a Climate Emergency Initial Action Plan which includes minimising emissions from new housing,  reduction in food waste, increased tree planting,  enhancing cycle and walking paths, increased electric vehicle charging points and promoting life style changes.

At the UK national level on 27 June 2019 the UK government amended the Climate Change Act and set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. According to the Committee on Climate Change (the CCC) UK emissions were 44% below 1990 levels in 2018. The first (2008-12) and the second carbon budget (2013-17) have been met and the UK is on track to meet the third (2018-22) carbon budget, but is not on track to meet the fourth, which covers the period 2023-27.

A vast and increasing number of organisations and pressure groups have arisen concerned with various aspects of climate change and how it might be addressed – examples of those found are noted below.

We welcome additions to this list and your contributions to the climate emergency debate via your comments below.

 

CLIMATE EMERGENCY SOURCES

350.Group
https://350.org/about/
An international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

Campaign against Climate Change
https://www.campaigncc.org/
The UK-based Campaign against Climate Change (CCC) exists to push for the urgent and radical action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate. It provides a range of resources for councillors and campaigners

Centre for alternative technology
https://www.cat.org.uk/info-resources/zero-carbon-britain/
The Centre for alternative technology (CAT) is an educational charity located in Wales dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change.

Client Earth
https://www.clientearth.org/
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect the planet and the people who live on it. They have lawyers and environmental experts across the world who are fighting against climate change and to protect nature and the environment.

Climate Coalition
https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/
UK-based body dedicated to action against climate change representing over 130 organisations across the UK, including the Women’s Institute, the National Trust, and the RSPB. The Climate Coalition is the operating name of the Climate Movement a registered charity.

Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation In Action
https://www.cedamia.org/about/
Australian-based Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation In Action (CEDAMIA) campaigns for a Climate Emergency Declaration at all levels of government. They also campaign for state/territory governments to ban new climate-damaging projects via the No More Bad Investments (NMBI) campaigns, and for local councils to implement Climate Emergency plans.

Climate Emergency Declaration
https://climateemergencydeclaration.org/
This site is hosted in Australia by a network of climate emergency action advocates. Its goal is for governments to declare a climate emergency and mobilise society-wide resources at sufficient scale and speed to protect civilisation, the economy, people, species, and ecosystems.

Climate Emergency UK
https://www.climateemergency.uk/
Climate Emergency UK monitors the ‘Climate & Environmental Emergency’ development in the United Kingdom at both local authority and national government level.

Climate Group
https://www.theclimategroup.org/about
An international non-profit, founded in 2004, with offices in London, New Delhi and New York to accelerate climate action by bringing together powerful networks of businesses and governments, to shift global markets and policies, towards this goal.

Committee on Climate Change
https://www.theccc.org.uk/about/
The Committee on Climate Change (the CCC) is an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008. Its purpose is to advise the UK Government and Devolved Administrations on emissions targets and report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change.

Council Action in the Climate Emergency
https://www.caceonline.org/blog/dont-use-climate-emergency-in-vain-target-setting-in-the-climate-emergency
CACE (Council Action in the Climate Emergency) based in Australia was created to encourage and support councils adopting a Climate Emergency response. CACE is an initiative of Adrian Whitehead and Bryony Edwards in 2017 in response to their successful campaigning with Darebin Council.

Environmental Defense Fund
https://www.edf.org/our-work
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is a US based organisation focussing on climate, oceans, ecosystems and health.

Extinction Rebellion
https://rebellion.earth/
An international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse. Numerous Extinction Rebellion groups actively campaign for the declaration of a climate emergency.

Friends of the Earth
https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate-change/what-can-I-do-to-stop-climate-change
Part of an international community dedicated to protecting the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. Leads campaigns, provides resources and information, and aims to drive real solutions to the environmental problems.

Global justice now
https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/campaigns/climate-and-energy
Promotes the idea of Energy democracy  – creating an energy system which is democratic, shifts quickly to renewables and keeps electricity affordable for all.

Go Fossil Free
https://gofossilfree.org/
In the UK, it is mainly focused on divestment campaigning — asking public institutions to cut their political, social and financial ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment was established by the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2008 to create a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research and training on climate change and the environment, bringing together international expertise on economics, finance, geography, the environment, international development and political economy.

Greenpeace
https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/climate-change/
A Campaigning organisation focussing on changing the way we live.

International Energy Agency
https://www.iea.org/about/mission
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative analysis, data, policy recommendations, and real-world solutions to help countries provide secure and sustainable energy for all.

Natural Resources Defense Council
https://www.nrdc.org/issues/climate-change
a US-based organisation that tackles the climate crisis at its source: pollution from fossil fuels. They work to reduce dependence on these dirty sources by expanding clean energy across cities, states, and nations and for example, winning court cases that allow the federal government to limit carbon pollution from cars and power plants.

Nature Conservancy
https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/tackle-climate-change/
Focuses on innovative, science-based solutions that match the urgency of this crisis, such as promoting clean energy and restoring forests from Brazil to Indonesia and working to ensure a clean energy future.

Sandbag
https://sandbag.org.uk/
A non-profit climate change think tank based in London and Brussels. Uses data analysis to build evidence-based climate policy. The London branch focuses on accelerating the global coal phase-out, whilst the Brussels branch covers EU industrial policy and the EU ETS.

Statistical Review of World Energy
https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html
The Statistical Review of World Energy provides energy data for the past 68 years. In addition to the raw data, the Statistical Review also provides a record of key energy developments and events through time.

Town and County Planning Association (TCPA)
https://www.tcpa.org.uk/
Campaigns for the reform of the UK’s planning system to make it more responsive to people’s needs and aspirations and to promote sustainable development. Has produced a  guide to planning for climate change  aimed at local authorities

Tyndall Centre
https://www.tyndall.ac.uk/about
The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of universities bringing together researchers from the social and natural sciences and engineering to develop sustainable responses to climate change.

UK Government
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/climate-change-explained
Explanations and guidance from the UK Government.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
https://unfccc.int/about-us/about-the-secretariat
Focussing in its early years largely on facilitating the intergovernmental climate change negotiations, the secretariat today supports a complex architecture of bodies that serve to advance the implementation of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

World Wildlife Fund
https://www.wwf.org.uk/what-we-do/area-of-work/climate-change-and-energy
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international campaigning organisation to drive changes in policy and legislation. In the UK it is working to ensure that the UK government is held to account on reducing its carbon emissions. Its focus is on 3 main areas: power, transport and buildings (accounting for 90% of UK emissions).

 

Council announces preferred development bidder for Southern Gateway project

The Council released the following Press Release on 13 January

Date of Release: 13 January 2020 Ref: 3951

Council selects developer to deliver major Chichester regeneration

Chichester District Council has selected its preferred development partner to deliver the Southern Gateway regeneration project.

Once appointed, Henry Boot Developments will work to transform the southern area of Chichester into a vibrant and attractive new quarter, as proposed in the Southern Gateway Masterplan.

“We are incredibly pleased to have reached this pivotal stage in the project,” says Councillor Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place, and Regeneration. “Selecting a developer signals a key step forward for this major regeneration project.

“A lot of progress has been made in the past year, with the help of our partners West Sussex County Council, Homes England, and Coast to Capital. We started the selection for a developer in May last year, and received interest from some very strong candidates.

“We are confident that Henry Boot Developments is the best choice to take the visions and aims of the Southern Gateway masterplan and make these a reality for the benefit of the community.”

Bob Lanzer, the county council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy, welcomed the selection of a development partner, saying: “This is a big step forward. The Southern Gateway proposals are a key part of the Chichester Growth Deal and developing the site will contribute to the housing needs identified by Chichester District Council.”

The Southern Gateway area comprises of several parcels of land, including:

The bus station and depot;
Basin Road car park;
Law courts;
The former Chichester Police Station playing field;
Former high school buildings; and,
Royal Mail depot buildings.

The project aims to encourage economic growth and create new, better paid jobs by transforming this largely brownfield area. The 30-acre site will be regenerated to feature an estimated:

365 new homes;
20,600 square metres of commercial space including business and retail space and leisure and tourism facilities;
improved transport links and a focus on cycling, walking and public transport; plus,
public space enhancements and landscaping.

The project is predicted to create approximately 1,400 jobs and protect at least 200 existing jobs.

It is also a key project in the Chichester Vision, which aims to boost economic growth in Chichester City Centre. The aim is to help Chichester attract inward investment and stimulate economic growth by making the most of its heritage and culture, while also adapting to better meet the needs of residents, workers, visitors, and students. Priorities are to reduce traffic, support independent businesses and create a more diverse evening culture.

The Southern Gateway project is also part of the One Public Estate West Sussex programme, which aims to reduce revenue costs, improve public services and release land for housing and economic growth.

People can keep up to date on the Southern Gateway project by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/southerngateway, which includes a variety of frequently asked questions on all areas of the project. People can also find updates in the council’s residents’ magazine ‘initiatives’, and on the council’s social media pages.

ENDS

Neighbourhood Plan launch to seek views

Public Launch for the Plan

A public consultation launch for the Neighbourhood Plan was made by Cllr. Richard Plowman, Mayor of Chichester on 14 October 2019 in the City’s Assembly Rooms, attended by over 100 including residents, members of the public and representatives from a number of local organisations. The presentation can be viewed here and the notes from the meeting here. The boundary of our Parish is viewable here.

Ten fundamental principles were laid down:
  1. The City declared a climate change emergency in June 2019 which must be backed by real and effective action.
  2. The City will be carbon neutral by 2030.
  3. The City Centre to be free of all fossil fuelled powered vehicles, the use of electrical vehicles to be encouraged and all deliveries to be made by electrical vehicle transport.
  4. The City to remain small and compact essentially a large historic market town in a rural setting and to position it to be a Unesco World Heritage site by 2032
  5. The City parks and green open spaces to be protected and enhanced. Re-wilding of derelict areas and use of more trees in the urban areas to produce natural wildlife corridors and public spaces such as squares throughout the City with zoning of areas with different characteristics eg retail, restaurant and evening economy.
  6. The City views are determined by the Cathedral and these views respected and all buildings to be subservient and generally no more than four stories high.
  7. The City economy needs revitalising particularly the City Centre and attracting more visitors to the City
    through Tourism, and the Meetings, Incentive and Conference industry (MICE).
  8. The City to maintain, enforce and expand areas of Conservation and preserve buildings of both historic, social cultural and architecturally.
  9. The plan to be holistic and inclusive for all people of Chichester (elderly, families, young, students, disabled and disadvantaged).
  10. The Neighbourhood Plan will be made by the People for the People of Chichester and will be part of Planning Legislation.
Aims to be achieved

The following were cited:

  1. Large international hotel of 200-250 beds (needs meeting and conference facilities)
  2. Large multi-use events/ performance/ exhibition/ conference hall
  3. Removal of level crossings and replacement with low level underpass
  4. More train and bus services to and from Chichester and metro line to Bognor Regis
    and coast
  5. Concert/ Theatre Hall up to 550 capacity (possibly the Court Building)
  6. Large Nightclub
  7. Central Medical centre
  8. New Crematorium
  9. HiTec village for graduates/millenniums near Station
  10. Zoning of areas in the City for better navigation eg North Street, East Street for Retail
    and service, Central Cross area for banks and jewellers. West Street – Cathedral and
    cultural. South street restaurant, bars and evening economy. Eastgate square and St
    Pancras village
  11. Improved public realm increased pedestrian areas and signage. Cathedral square
  12. Public square for Farmers and special markets e g Christmas/ Ice rink.
  13. Cultural trail linking Galleries and Theatre

 

GET INVOLVED

To elicit views of residents and the public an online survey is being used and can be viewed here. The survey closes at 5pm on Monday 9th December 2019

The City Council has a dedicated website page and a Facebook account to enable progress on the Plan to be followed and views to be expressed.

 

You can also add your comments to this post below

David Johnson, Chair of CPRE talks about its work at our 2019 AGM

BOGNOR IS NOW A MILE NEARER CHICHESTER THAN IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO!

Sarah Quail reports on what David Johnson, Vice Chair of the Sussex Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), had to say at Chichester Society’s AGM held 16 October 2019 in the Assembly Rooms.

Yes, we learned this startling fact about Bognor early in David Johnson’s address. I suppose we should not be particularly surprised. Acres of green field are fast disappearing round Bognor and Chichester to satisfy the insatiable demand for more housing across the country. There is no designated green belt along our coastal strip which is constrained by the South Downs National Park to the north and the sea to the south. Only green gaps prevent the coalescence of the different urban areas. These gaps are vital, David Johnson argued, for a whole number of different reasons not least our physical well-being.
CPRE works to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live in, work and enjoy, and to ensure that the countryside is protected for now and for future generations. To these ends, the Sussex Branch is challenging housing need numbers, and the whole notion of what is actually affordable housing. It endeavors to work with local authorities on how we can all make development work without jeopardizing what we hold dear: access to greenery!

He also discussed the impact of our changing weather on the local environment and in this context touched not only on the Medmerry managed realignment scheme but also on the need to cut car journeys by 20 percent. Controversially, he asked why we are discussing new roads for Chichester? Plans for the A27, he suggested, need to be re-examined in the light of climate change exacerbated by petrol and diesel-driven internal combustion engines.

We must also build sensitively on brown field sites before we start driving earth-moving equipment onto green fields. Interestingly, he moved on to discuss the growing lack of public confidence in local authorities’ ability to implement a planning framework now generally regarded as faulty in the light of climate change. De-growth, he argued, was what was required now not more growth.

A Chichester branch of CPRE Sussex has been established recently and details of how to join can be found on their website at www.cpresussex.org.uk. The purpose of CPRE Sussex is to shape the future of this county in a positive way. It is keen, David Johnson said, to be both a town and country organization and it is indeed in all our interests that they take forward these ambitions and continue to campaign on the environmental impact of development across this region.

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)

Four Towns @ 50 Conference 50th anniversary of the Government’s “Four Studies in Conservation”

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Government’s “Four Studies in Conservation” looking at Bath, Chester, Chichester and York, a national conference will be held in Chichester on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October.

The hosts are the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CCAAC) which was set up by Chichester District Council in 1976 to advise the council on planning within the city centre conservation area.

The Civic Amenities Act (1967) required planning authorities to designate conservation areas for all areas of historic interest, and the Government selected four historic towns for special study ‘to discover how to reconcile our old towns with the 20th century without actually knocking them down’.

Despite being far smaller than the other three cities, Chichester was one of the four chosen due largely to the enthusiasm of the city council’s town clerk Eric Banks. These Studies in Conservation, published in 1969, led the way for conservation areas nationally.

The Friday conference sessions will be held at the Assembly Room, North Street, Chichester, from 10am to 5pm. Professor John Gold of Oxford Brookes University, will start by giving an overview of the four studies. He will then be followed by speakers from each of the cities who will explain the effects the studies have had on their own areas.

A light buffet lunch will be served, and the day’s proceedings will close with a keynote address on the state of conservation areas nationally; given by Joan Humble, Chair of Civic Voice.

Saturday will be devoted to a series of morning and afternoon themed walks around the city centre including an examination of the Pallants area which was examined in detail by the Chichester study, and a look at a range of 20th and 21st century buildings.

Alan Green, Chairman of the CCAAC said: ‘this conference, which is being publicised nationally, is not to be missed! The four towns have come together to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal moment in their conservation, and to reflect what has happened since.’

Tickets for the conference are priced £40 (which includes both days) and are available from the Chichester Box Office at the Novium Museum, Tower Street, Chichester PO19 1QH. They can be collected in person or booked online here or by phoning 01243 816525. Please be sure to give your name, address and email when you book.


 

Visit to Selsey Lifeboat

Caroline Bullen reports on the day members of The Chichester Society visited the new Selsey onshore Lifeboat Station on 26th June 2019.

As everyone assembled outside the station, the weather conditions were much more favourable than the previous visit in rain and high winds shortly before the old station was demolished, in 2016.

The visit was scheduled for 11am, but upon arrival we were told that the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat named ‘Denise and Eric’ had been launched for a training exercise.
So it was decided to have the indoor presentation until the boat returned. News then suddenly came through that the lifeboat was in fact on it’s way back, so everyone returned to the launch area. As it happened, this was a great opportunity to see ‘Denise and Eric’ being beached on to the shingle, ready to be skilfully manoeuvred by the impressive recovery system team. A great photo opportunity!

‘Denise and Eric’ being beached on to the shingle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Launch Recovery System was initiated to haul the boat onto the tractor unit and return it to base. Mike Cole, the Station Education and Visits Officer then invited members back inside the station building to give a detailed account and presentation of the new Shannon AWL 13-20 and a D class inshore lifeboat (ILB D-827 ‘Flt Lt John Buckley RAF).
Joined by Colin, whose task is to ensure the boat gets safely ‘in and out’ of the sea, members then had the opportunity to ask questions.

Lifeboat being captured by recovery system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launched from the beach, the 18 tonne, ‘self righting’ Shannon lifeboat, performs better the faster it goes. Fuel is specially delivered to the station by a road tanker to fill the Shannon’s 5,000 litre fuel tank. Costing £2.2 million, the Shannon, whose engine is completely waterproof, does 2 nautical miles to one gallon of fuel.

Shock absorbing seats further protect the 6 crew from impact when pounding through the waves. Of the 34 at the station, 32 are volunteers. A mechanic is on site and daily and monthly checks are made as well as an annual review. At one time, all volunteers were fishermen, today however, they number only 4.

The 37 tonne, tractor Launch Recovery System, ‘Miss Eileen Beryl Phillips,’ costing £1.5 million is designed and manufactured at Clayton Engineering in Knighton, Powys, Wales. Designed for the Shannon class lifeboats, it revolutionises the way lives are saved at sea. It can tow boats up steep, shingle beaches and can be driven straight into big surf and safely launch the boat in up to 2.4m of water. In the event of a breakdown with an incoming tide, the water-tight tractor can be completely submerged in depths up to 9 m before being retrieved once the tide is receded in complete working order.

Tractor Launch Recovery System, ‘Miss Eileen Beryl Phillips’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once recovered from the beach, bow first, a unique turntable cradle rotates the Shannon 180 degrees ready for her next launch. Larger windows and CCTV give volunteer tractor drivers better visibility. A hydraulic system means that the height of the whole rig can be reduced to fit inside the boathouses. The reduced time of launching with such an impressive system, certainly makes a difference.

 

Safely back home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is far from those days back in 1861 when it all began with a double-banked lifeboat, 35 feet long and using 12 oars which was transported from Chichester. The boat, costing £180 was presented to the institution by members of the Society of Friends.

Members were interested in seeing old photographs of the encroachment of the sea and its impact upon the position of the station over time.

With it’s 155 year history, the Crew have been presented with 10 awards for gallantry. Their dedication and bravery in saving lives is phenomenal and in the words of Mike Cole, they are all one big ‘happy family.’

Visit over, members made their way over to a pre-booked lunch at the Lifeboat Inn – an opportunity to chat and reflect upon on a noteworthy charity who provides a 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service to save lives at sea.

(Pictures provided by Anna Bloomfield)

Pevsner’s West Sussex Guide has a Makeover

Editor Elizabeth Williamson on challenges facing her team
to update a 54 year old classic

Chichester Society members have probably consulted, or even own, a copy of The Buildings of England: Sussex, by Ian Nairn and Nikolaus Pevsner, first published in 1965. It covers the historic county, treating the post-1888 East and West Sussex as two separate sections in a single volume. Nikolaus Pevsner’s East Sussex was revised by the late Nicholas Antram and published as Sussex: East in 2013. At last the West Sussex volume is complete and is now available in bookshops.

Nikolaus Pevsner, joint author with Ian Nairn for the original guide to West Sussex Photo: Yale University Press
What’s new?

What can you expect to find that’s new and what has been preserved from the original Sussex? The foundation is Ian Nairn’s West Sussex section, with some interventions by Pevsner, and the swathe of Pevsner’s East Sussex consigned to West Sussex in 1974. It has taken three authors to bring it all up-to-date. The team grew as work progressed. Tim Hudson took on Arundel and Chichester (apart from the Cathedral and Close, revised by John Crook), Midhurst and Petworth, places south of a line from Southbourne to Eartham, all but one of Lutyens’ houses, and the Charterhouse in Cowfold. Jeremy Musson has worked on the remainder of Chichester District, that is, eastwards to Loxwood and Bury. Other significant contributors were Bernard Worssam and David Rudling for specialist introductions to the county’s geology and archaeology. David also checked and updated all archaeology entries and wrote new ones including Roman Chichester and Chichester’s City Walls. ‘Pevsner guides’ would be an impossible task without the help of dozens of experts on particular localities and subjects, many of whose names you will recognise in the Acknowledgements – where we also thank those who kindly invited us into houses, churches and public buildings.

Spotting stylistic contrast

Should the reader detect differences in style and content in the easterly parishes, that is at least partly due to the distinctive approaches of the original authors. Pevsner regretted that Nairn ‘… found that he could no longer bear to write the detailed descriptions which are essential’ once he had completed West Sussex, acknowledging that ‘Mr Nairn has a greater sensibility to landscape and townscape than I have, and he writes better than I could ever hope to write. On the other hand, those who want something a little more cataloguey … may find my descriptions more to their liking.’ A balance has been struck: the original authors’ intentions and words have been preserved where appropriate but often fresh research and more time to investigate have required fresh beginnings or almost complete overhaul.

Marriott Lodge was designed by Ahrend, Burton &
Koralek as an extension to the Theological College at
3 Westgate. It is now part of a residential care home Photo: James O Davies
Chichester

Probably most important to Society members is the new information about Chichester and its immediate surroundings. At the centre is John Crook’s account of the Cathedral, prefaced by a splendid new introduction clearly explaining the building phases. There is new information too about the Close, including rare survivals like the C13 roof of St Faith’s chapel in St Faith’s House. In the town, Tim Hudson has cast a critical eye over the most recent additions: Pallant House Gallery, with a ‘lumpish S front’, and the Novium, ‘unrelated to its surroundings’, do not come off unscathed, though there is praise for the ‘appropriate’ additions to the Festival Theatre. Some older modern buildings are reappraised. One is Marriott Lodge, which, at the time of the first edition, was planned as an extension to the Theological College at No. 3 Westgate. New discoveries have been made about older buildings presented here as ‘Perambulations’. Within a short walk along West Street one can find out about such diverse subjects as: the 21st century sculpture of St Richard; the Prebendal School’s medieval fabric; Edes House and its seventeenth-century interior; the original purpose of former St Peter’s Church; and the architect of the Oliver Whitby School (until recently House of Fraser).

The Gridshell at Singleton’s Weald & Downland Museum, completed 2002
by Edward Cullinan & Associates with Buro Happold as engineers Photo: James O Davies
The coast

Useful attention is given to historical development. Along the coast for example, Selsey has been separated from the ancient Church Norton and given its due as a seaside resort; there are some special early C20 buildings including large Arts-and-Crafts houses, notably The Bill House by Baillie Scott. On Thorney Island the RAF Officers’ Mess takes its place alongside the medieval church and rectory.

New themes

A huge range of information is to be found throughout this volume from church monuments, medieval wall paintings and war memorials to the architects of Victorian churches and schools; architectural histories of great houses such as Cowdray, Petworth and West Dean; and the local character of cottages and village halls. New for this edition are discussions of challenging modern designs, particularly those for the Goodwood and Wakehurst estates and at the Weald and Downland Museum, with its collection of vernacular buildings. This West Sussex volume of The Buildings of England series will guide you to the best of the county’s architecture. And the colour photography is fantastic!

The authors
Elizabeth Williamson is former editor of the Pevsner Architectural Guides. Tim Hudson is a former editor of the Victoria County History for Sussex. Jeremy Musson is an architectural historian, consultant, and author.

An earlier article by Tim Hudson published during the planning phase  for the update is available here
The Buildings of England: West Sussex. Yale University Press. The book jacket features Boxgrove Priory on the front cover (right) and Monkton House Image: Yale University Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Society’s Newsletter)

Chichester merits UNESCO World Heritage Status

Why we believe Chichester merits consideration

When one studies William Gardner’s map of the City of Chichester dated 1769 it becomes clear how little of the really important elements of our great City have actually changed over all the years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nairn and Pevsner in their 1965 edition of the Buildings of England record that the Romans occupied Chichester almost immediately after the conquest and encircled its 100 acres with a wall much of which remains today. It misses its four cardinal gates and perhaps these could be reinstated.

But within its walls lie not only the Cathedral, distant views of which are dominant within the largely flat landscape, but also its precincts, the Market Cross, St Mary’s Hospital and a plethora of Georgian architecture lining its medieval street pattern. Of all the periods of English building, none has surpassed the Georgian era and we have numerous examples of houses rebuilt from about 1700. Dr Thomas Sharp’s 1949 report Georgian City commissioned by the City Council includes the pertinent remark that ‘Chichester is a very special city indeed which probably holds more of the purity and true essence of its type than any now remaining in England. It is an important and irreplaceable part of the national heritage’.

The Chichester Society Executive Committee believes that this kind of history could make Chichester a prime candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Status when one considers the good fit we make with UNESCO’s criteria for selection spelt out below. It can take years to submit an application but these delays may be acceptable if Chichester becomes better known both nationally and internationally. Our September newsletter will be asking our members what they think.

Do you agree that we should try? Please let us have your comments

The Selection Criteria for Inclusion

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.

These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.

Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, only one set of ten criteria exists.

Selection criteria
  1. to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  2. to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  3. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  4. to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  5. to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The (UNESCO) Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
  7. to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  8. to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  9. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  10. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations. Since 1992 significant interactions between people and the natural environment have been recognized as cultural landscapes.


The extent of our history was captured in part by our Heritage Trails  -details of which are on our website here  where they are available in downloadable form or can be followed on a  smartphone or tablet as you walk around our City. Printed versions may be available from the Novium and other locations.