New homes ‘threat’ to historic Chichester

CONCERN over the possible impact on historic Chichester from new houses will be debated at a special meeting of the city council today (Thursday, October 25).

The meeting was proposed by the council’s planning and conservation committee after discussing a district council housing strategy consultation.

“The district is proposing 350 new houses within the city between now and 2029,” said committee chairman Cllr Michael Woolley. “The district was asking us for a response by the beginning of November, but we felt this should go to full council for discussion, to formulate the response.”

Cllr Woolley said concerns focused not only on building within the city but in adjoining parishes as well, which would all have a considerable impact.

Sites just outside Chichester proposed for new development included land at Shopwyke Lakes, Oving, Old Place Farm, Westhampnett, and Keepers Wood, Lavant.

The committee agreed to make a strong objection to the Keepers Wood planning application. Although the site was in the parish of Lavant, it was close to the city boundary.

“There is a clear danger that as a result of the various developments being proposed we will lose one of the things which make Chichester special as an historic cathedral city,” said Cllr Woolley.

Great care was always taken over any developments affecting the Chichester Harbour area of outstanding natural beauty. Account should also be taken of the fact that the city was also precious in itself, and should be protected.

A new study similar to ‘Chichester – a study in conservation,’ which was published in 1968 after being commissioned by the Government and the then city and county councils, was needed.

“We need a study not so grand as that was but one which would provide an evidence base for safeguarding the city,” said Cllr Woolley.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Assembly Room, in North Street, starting at 6pm.