Darker future confirmed for Chichester city centre

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A DARKER future was confirmed on Wednesday night (September 10) as residents’ views on a streetlight switch-off were revealed.

Chichester City Council discussed the findings of a recent public consultation on switching off the lights in the city.

As previously reported by the Observer, there was uproar from residents when a number of lights in residential streets were switched to all-night lighting a year ago as part of West Sussex County Council’s county-wide upgrade of streetlights.

Following the strength of popular opinion, the county council asked the city council to carry out a public consultation to see what residents thought about some streets changing back, meaning lights would go out from around midnight until about 5.30am.

More than 100 replies were received from people within the city to the consultation.

“As may be expected, opinions were divided; those who favour a return to part-night refer to a range of environmental, cost and social reasons,” town clerk Rodney Duggua told the council in a report circulated before the meeting.

“Those who favour the retention of the all-night policy cite crime and disorder (sometimes caused by the design of estates), feeling safer and it being easier to get around when out at night.”

In his report, the city council area was subdivided into four areas: north, south, west and east.

In the first three, the number of people supporting part-night lighting was higher,

However for the east of Chichester, ten people supported all-night lighting, whereas eight favoured part-night.

Councillors were told this was because a large number of residents in Litten Terrace were in favour of all-night lighting.

Chichester East city councillor Michael Woolley proposed for part-night lighting to be introduced in all the roads listed in the consultation, with the exception of Litten Terrace, College Lane and the twittens.

College Lane was made exempt because of safety fears, with a large number of students from the university using the road late at night. Similarly the twittens were excluded from part-night lighting for safety reasons.

In addition, roads within the city centre walls and main roads will also have all-night lighting.

See next Thursday’s Observer (September 18) for a full report of the meeting and comments from councillors.