The idea of seeking world heritage status for Chichester city centre is ‘an exciting proposal’, a councillor has said.
Prominent figures in the city have shared their reaction to news that the Chichester Society is considering applying for the city to be named a UNESCO world heritage site.
Christopher Mead-Briggs, executive committee member of the society, said the bar was ‘quite high’ but that success would ‘put a spotlight on Chichester that there’s never been before’.
In response to the proposal, Councillor Eileen Lintill, leader of Chichester District Council, said: “We are very proud of the city’s outstanding cultural and heritage sites and their historical importance.
“We have a magnificent 12th century cathedral, the iconic Chichester Cross, and our city walls are the most intact circuit of Roman town defences in Southern England.
“We look forward to finding out more about Chichester Society’s exciting proposal to apply for UNESCO world heritage status and having further discussions about this.”
Rodney Duggua, town clerk at Chichester City Council, said: “I would have thought that a good case could be made around both the historic City centre and environs, and that the City Council would be very interested in being associated with a formal submission.”
However Philip Robinson, chairman of the Chichester Local History Society, was not so optimistic about the city’s chances.
He said: “It’s a wonderful romantic idea – but I think there is extremely little chance of it ever being realised.
“Chichester has destroyed so much of its heritage, there isn’t really enough for people to see.”
“If you take a visit to Bath, much is still there.
“Look at Southgate, all the houses that were down there that no longer exist.
“Our lovely wall – it’s not a Roman wall, it’s a wall on Roman foundations, it’s actually a medieval wall.
“It’s nowhere near world heritage standard.
“We have the most glorious city – I love the city to bits – but I think it’s being way too over romantic.”
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