Chichester Southern Gateway project ‘time to be bold’ – but is it destined to be missed opportunity?

Letter from: Richard Hancock, Deanery Close, Chichester

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 12:04 pm
Part of the Southern Gateway - the railway crossing in Basin Road

We learned from the Observer (January 16) that Henry Boot Developments (HBD) has been selected as the chosen development partner for the Southern Gateway.

I wonder whether readers are enthusiastic about what is planned?

The emphasis for more housing is applauded by the county council’s cabinet member for the economy.

Will the masterplan be a benefit for the community?

In the consultation process I stressed the need for a conference centre/performance space linked to a quality hotel.

The city lacks provision for raked seating arenas and with train links to Gatwick is ideally placed for international delegates to reach the city to attend conferences.

The station, undoubtedly impressive when it was built, looks now rather tired. Linking a new station to a hotel would make for an exciting development.

There is much enthusiasm for having an underpass to link to the canal basin. This, and by closing off the route to Stockbridge Road, removes the need for both level crossings.

Nearly 80 per cent of those responding to the neighbourhood plan want the level crossings removed.

Further, linking a new bus station to a new railway station with covered walkways would be appreciated if the pattern of wetter weather is to become the norm.

It is good that the creation of jobs figures is included among the objectives of the current plan.

It is to be hoped that job creation has been high on the priorities of those involved in all the housing developments that have already been planned or are currently being built.

There should be much more creative thinking if the Southern Gateway of Chichester is really to become vibrant.

Now is the time to be bold and plan enthusiastically about the city’s future. The first ideas put forward should not be set in stone.