Housing at Shopwhyke sparks traffic concerns

JPOS Shopwhyke Lakes area site
JPOS Shopwhyke Lakes area site

Plans to build up to 700 homes at the east of Chichester have sparked fears about the impact it will have on the already-congested link roads to the city.

A multi-use neighbourhood at Shopwhyke Lakes has been put forward as one of several options to satisfy the need for new homes in the area.

The site lies next to Shopwhyke Road near the Chichester Bypass. Residents will have the chance to share their views at a Community Planning Weekend starting tomorrow.

Chichester east ward district councillor Quentin Cox said: “I have nothing in principle against having homes there. The good thing is there will be more employment and more homes for people.

“But the one concern I will be looking into is the access into the city from that development. Presumably the new traffic would use Westhampnett Road, which is already heavily congested morning and evening.”

He added: “It is one of the busiest access roads into the city. One more development in the east would just add to the traffic and the infrastructure would suffer.”

John Thompson & Partners (JTP) has been appointed as master planning architects. It has not stated exactly how many homes it wants to build on Shopwhyke Lakes and said it depends on the feedback it gets from residents.

JTP’s aim is to create a balanced mix of affordable and market housing, employment and community uses set in a significant new public park focused around the existing lakes.

Westhampnett Road resident Lynne Friel said: “It is the same old argument here that you can not just build houses when you do not have the infrastructure for it.

“The traffic on Westhampnett Road can bring the A27 to a standstill. It is a huge issue.”

Charles Campion of JTP said: “We are very excited about the potential for the site. We are opening this scheme up to the local community at an early stage on how they would like this to work.

“Access is always an important consideration and we are looking for what local people have to say.”

He added: “People have concerns about developments, we totally understand that. We want to know what people’s aspirations are.

“We are looking to improve links to add to the quality of the area. Often the impact of the traffic isn’t as great as people first fear.”

JTP’s intention is to submit a planning application for the site later in the year. Shopwhyke Lakes is a previously developed gravel extraction site located immediately to the south of the A27 at the Portfield roundabout.

Part of the site has planning consent and is still used for building material recycling. There are plans to create a new park at the site as well.

Locally-based company Hanbury Properties is the developer, which already owns the site at Portfield.