Extension to Chichester car park turned down

An extension to a privately owned Chichester city centre car park has been turned down by councillors.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 4:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 4:31 pm
Southgate car park in Chichester off the Avenue de Chartres
Southgate car park in Chichester off the Avenue de Chartres

Southgate car park, just off Avenue de Chartres, currently has 54 spaces but the operator wants to extend it to provide an extra 12.

The site of the proposed extension is currently part of a field which contains shrubs and young trees.

Plans include a viewing area for the city wall with informal information boards.

However an application for the works was refused by Chichester District Council’s planning committee last Wednesday (March 13).

Councillor felt the proposals would have a negative impact on the city walls and Chichester’s conservation area.

The land in question is owned by the cathedral and has been used as a dumping ground for waste vegetation and grass cuttings, according to the application.

The project would have seen the removal of the current railings, the clearance of the waste vegetation and tree growth, and then laying of tarmac for the new parking spaces.

The application said: “This removal of car park walls and dense waste vegetation will open long views to the city wall and residentiary bastion, not formerly available.”

But council officers disagreed, recommending the application be refused.

The conservation officer suggested the scheme would lead to an ‘erosion’ of the setting of the Grade I listed city wall, the conservation area and the amenity of the present green space/city walls walk.

They explained: “The Walk is intended to be an immersive experience, allowing the appreciation of the heritage assets and important archaeology of this section of the walk.

“The present arrangement allows the appreciation of a long length of wall, and the introduction of car-parking spaces would interfere with this, and would introduce hard landscaping/lighting etc in what is currently ‘without the walls’.”

Councillors backed the officers’ recommendation and refused the application.