Chichester redundant school buildings to be demolished and sports pitch relocated

Chichester aerial view. The hockey pitch is in the right hand corner with the redundant school buildings north of it
Chichester aerial view. The hockey pitch is in the right hand corner with the redundant school buildings north of it

Redundant school buildings in Chichester are set to be demolished and sports facilities relocated as part of redevelopment plans for the Southern Gateway.

The project, which is being led by Chichester District Council, is set to see a number of facilities moved to make way for new homes, commercial floorspace and public realm enhancements.

The stretch of land, which includes the law courts, Royal Mail sorting offices, bus station and bus depot, are in a number of different ownerships.

Part of the site due to be redeveloped is the West Sussex County Council-owned redundant former Year 7 building and all-weather hockey pitch at Chichester High School south of Kingsham Road.

The leader of the county council is due to approve the demolition of the former school buildings at a cost of £430,000 and £1.54million towards relocating the hockey pitch, subject to a full business case.

The county council would then join the procurement process for a development partner to deliver the entire Southern Gateway scheme.

The money would come from Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funding. A pot of £5million of local growth funding has been secured from the LEP to support the development’s delivery.

According to council officers: “The delivery of growth at the Southern Gateway supports a number of priorities in the West Sussex Plan, particularly ensuring West Sussex is a prosperous place and being a council that works for our communities.

“The progression of the Southern Gateway as part of the Chichester Growth Deal would, through partnership with Chichester District Council and wider stakeholders deliver, amongst other things new city centre homes and employment space through the regeneration of a key gateway into the city, contributing to increased gross value added within the district.”

The empty school buildings including a former Year 7 block and old school music block and have been vacant since 2014 when The Kemnal Academies Trust surrendered their short-term lease and moved into new accommodation provided by the county council.

The buildings are regularly the subject of security and vandalism concerns, including a recent fire.

Demolition will be subject to consent from the Department for Education to dispose of school land.

Meanwhile discussions about the relocation of the hockey pitch have taken place with Chichester High School.