Space for business needed at new Chichester site

A site which is being tipped for a new retail development could be used to develop office and light industry, according to city custodians.

The Chichester Society has this week written to the Brookhouse Group which is looking to transform the Barnfield Park area into retail outlets, asking it to consider whether any other uses can be found.

In particular the society has highlighted the need to create more business space to help generate employment and boost business in the city.

The society said: “A lack of suitable sites to encourage quality office development and light industrial uses is a real problem in Chichester. The city’s two main employment areas, Quarry Lane and Terminus Road, are tired and drab.

“We think the Barnfield Park site presents an excellent opportunity for developing a landscaped employment park with a variety of jobs, both full and part-time.”

Brookhouse wants four retail units for the site and also has plans for two restaurant areas and a cafe point in the middle of the linear park, which follows the River Lavant.

The three-acre site had formerly been earmarked as a potential park-and-ride venue for the city, but that idea was abandoned last year.

The company is hoping if the development goes ahead, improvements will be made to the highways and public transport links.

There will also be a landscaping plan put in place and new footpaths and cycleways created.

A public exhibition about the plans held in December revealed strong support for the scheme.

Company spokesman Daniel Griffiths said use for the site was based on demand and need and what gave it a long-term future. He added that a huge number of jobs would be generated.

Addressing other points raised by the Chichester Society, Mr Griffiths said the company would be looking to ensure there would be good pedestrian and cycle access.

As well as asking the company to consider other uses for the site, the Chichester Society has also said there is an important need for high-quality landscaping.

“The key to a successful development of this kind is very high-quality soft and hard landscaping to create a green barrier with the surrounding housing, and also with the agricultural land of the Lower Lavant Valley to the immediate north,” it said.