Could Chichester city centre flats get green light?

RETIREMENT flats could be built in the heart of Chichester’s historic centre if an appeal is approved next month.

McCarthy and Stone is appealing against Chichester District Council’s decision to turn down permission for 16 flats at the site of The Woolstaplers car park.

A hearing date has now been set for Tuesday, February 11.

Refusing permission in August, the council said the development failed to meet infrastructure needs and would make it difficult for it to turn down applications in the future which failed to meet similar costs.

Members also felt the ‘height, bulk and design’ of the building facing on to Tower Street and The Woolstaplers failed to take into account the history of the area – the site is less than 160m from Chichester Cathedral.

The site was granted planning permission for 26 flats in 2008 and again in 2011.

Commenting on the latest bid last year, English Heritage said it had already commented on the setting of previous schemes, and the Novium, which had already been completed, near the cathedral and ‘numerous’ listed buildings in the Chichester central conservation area.

It questioned the ‘rationale’ behind the design of the latest bid with its ‘additional glazing and balconies’ which English Heritage said would: “Present busier elevations, where the last scheme was simple and uniform and presented cleaner lines to the Woolstaplers and Tower Street.

It also said the previous design was less of a contrast to the tower of the Novium and cathedral spire.

According to McCarthy and Stones’ design and access statement, the building would include 16 two-bedroom flats, each with one parking space in an underground car park where there would also be secure cycle storage.

There would also be a manned day-time concierge facility.

The planning inquiry will be held at 10am on February 11 at East Pallant House, Chichester.