‘Isolation’ fear as plans for 500 new homes in Chichester is backed

Major plans to build up to 500 homes at the eastern gate of Chichester have been given the thumbs-up by the local community – but some have warned future residents of the site could be too isolated from the city.

After months of planning and meeting with residents, Hanbury Properties has now put forward final plans to build the homes at former gravel extraction site Shopwyke Lakes, in Oving.

However city and district councillor Tony Dignum said he thought the site was appropriate for development but is sceptical about the links between the new site and the city.

“My main concern is for the people that will be living there. There seems to be a sense of isolation from the city because of the A27,” he said.

I did push to have two bridges built from Sainsbury’s and another from Oving Road, but the latter hasn’t been adopted. I am also concerned about the Oving crossroads.”

The plans are for three lakes connected in a parkland setting where up to 500 homes will be built together with employment, community and sport facilities, an ‘elderly care village’, local retail units, and major new public open spaces incorporating an ‘edible landscape’.

Chairman of the Chichester Society Richard Childs said there were transport issues but the general feeling was positive.

“I think the fact we had consultation meetings with the developer was a good thing. That hopefully bodes well,” he said.

The plans have already been given the thumbs-up from some pupils at March CofE Primary School, Westhampnett.

One pupil Lily Ayling, ten, said: “I think it’s a good idea. It provides more facilities for the people living there, and it will give people new homes. I think it’s a good idea, it has lots of potential.”

Pupils interviewed residents near the Shopwyke Lakes site. Teacher Nicola Buchan said the children would hand their results to Oving Parish Council.

She said there were some concerns, mainly about the potential problems with flooding on the site.

District councillor for Oving, Paul Jarvis, said: “The plans are very big. It’s a large development and needs very, very careful consideration about all aspects.”

The initial ideas for the site were formulated at the Shopwyke Lakes community planning weekend held last July. Around 100 residents and stakeholders participated in creating a vision for the site and the surrounding area.