Northern Gateway project in Chichester’s growth deal

Chichester Fire Station   Picture by Louise Adams C140039-1 Chichester Fire Station ENGSUS00120140701151713
Chichester Fire Station Picture by Louise Adams C140039-1 Chichester Fire Station ENGSUS00120140701151713

Plans for Chichester’s Northern Gateway have been included in a growth plan for the city approved by councillors this week.

A masterplan to redevelop the Southern Gateway, which includes a number of public buildings either side of the railway line, was approved by Chichester District Council (CDC) last month.

It is one of four priorities in the Chichester Growth Deal, which is a joint initiative by CDC and West Sussex County Council to unlock opportunities for new homes and employment space over the next five years up to 2023.

The document was approved by CDC’s cabinet on Tuesday and also has a project for the city’s Northern Gateway.

Tony Dignum, leader of the district council, explained that the aim was to enhance the key gateway to the city and deliver a mixed-use development including residential, office, retail and leisure uses.

The project’s ‘key deliverables’ are listed as identifying options for Chichester Fire station in Northgate, looking at opportunities to fully integrate both the university and Chichester Festival Theatre with the rest of the city via North Street, ensuring a clear development masterplan is in place and putting together funding bids.

More details were requested by the Observer.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The Northern Gateway is at an early stage and there are no firm proposals at this point in time.

“We will be looking at the area as a whole including the fire station and the surrounding area. Further details will be worked up in due course.”

The other two projects in the growth deal are a city centre transport feasibility study and the Gigabit West Sussex project to deliver even faster broadband speed to public sector buildings.

A delivery plan for the Chichester Vision, which includes other shorter term projects to improve the city, was also approved by cabinet members this week.

Mr Dignum said: “While the growth deal’s four large projects all contribute to the realisation of the vision, the vision’s steering group will be on the much smaller projects but which share the objective of making the city more attractive to users of all ages.”

These include better wayfinding, more cycle racks and benches, and an improved tourism offer.

He explained how items in the growth deal had to be large schemes, hence why they are all in Chichester, but they would also be looking for future projects outside the city to support.

Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, said: “I’m pleased to see there will be a fund which the other vision areas like Midhurst, Petworth, and Selsey will be able to bid to for funding because otherwise we will be accused of being city-centric.”

Mr Dignum added: “Of course, it’s important to remember that the Chichester Vision is a long term look at the city, so it will take time to achieve everything that has been set out.

“We have made an excellent start and I want to reassure people that they will be updated regularly on progress as we move these projects forward.”

What do you think should happen as part of the Northern Gateway project? Email the newsdesk.