Plans for flats next to Chichester museum given green light

A CONTROVERSIAL new four-storey block of 26 flats proposed for a site in central Chichester was given the green light by district councillors – despite a comment by one of them that it should be called ‘Stalag House’.​

The scheme is planned by the district council itself for a site next to the new district museum in Tower Street.

The council is planning to sell the land to offset part of the cost of the museum.

The project recently ran into problems when the Environment Agency raised an objection to it because of the possible impact on the Apuldram sewage works, which discharges into the harbour.

But the southern area development control committee was told the agency had now withdrawn the objection, on the basis that water efficiency measures would be incorporated into the development.

The committee voted ten to two in favour of renewing a planning consent originally granted for the development in 2009, subject to the completion of a formal legal agreement.

The new block has faced opposition from both the city council and the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory committee.

One city councillor said recently it would look like something from behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s, and conservationists condemned it as disappointing and ‘monolithic.’

To meet the agency’s concerns, a condition was attached to the new planning consent stipulating that water efficiency measures should be included, to mitigate the impact on water quality in the harbour.

Cllr Quentin Cox said: “We should call this Stalag House.

“Its appearance is appalling and unsuited to the conservation area.

“It does not meet the standards members would expect in a conservation area.”

He said the development would be a ‘monolithic horror’.

But Cllr Carol Purnell said: “I rather like the look of it.”