Don’t Destroy Chichester Harbour: Community urged to question candidates closely

Residents are being urged to question candidates closely ahead of the Chichester District Council elections.

The future of Chichester Harbour is high on the agenda, with the Chichester Local Plan Review 2035 due to be revised in the coming months.

Chichester Harbour is a special place, one of the great conservation areas of Britain

Chichester Harbour is a special place, one of the great conservation areas of Britain

Read more: Candidates for Chichester District Council elections announced

The Observer has been highlighting various views on the subject since the launch of our Don’t Destroy Chichester Harbour campaign on March 21.

John Nelson, chairman of Chichester Harbour Trust, said: “We are very pleased with the responses we have had and it is the communities around the harbour which are all girding to support this.

“The councillors are definitely responding. I think we should be urging the community to question the candidates on their policy. A lot of them support the AONB but it doesn’t go far enough. They should dictate the policy and that is what they need to do.

“We are not saying there does not need to be more housing, there does, but there is a lot more work to be done. We have come up with a strategy and we think the community should be asking their candidates what they are going to do about it.

“We are asking the councillors to instruct the officials to come up with some modifications to the Local Plan. It is a lot of work but this is work that has got to be done.”

Areas of concern include wildlife corridors, the landscape and setting, housing density being too low and the lack of consideration being given to retail and brownfield sites.

John said: “The sites available for development in the Local Plan are all greenfield, not retail or brownfield. Retail space is becoming available and these sites are ideal for residential development because they have the infrastructure.

“Most of it is very low density housing but we need to have varying types of building. Tighter density can lead to better communities. We don’t want to destroy communities by linking them all up with one another.”

Chichester Harbour Conservancy is holding an open day on Saturday from 11am to 3pm, offering an ideal opportunity to find out more about activities in and around the harbour, and to meet people from the various groups involved.