VOTE: Do you object to the plans in the area of Chichester’s city walls?

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A row has erupted over plans to build new homes in part of a historic Chichester garden next to the City Walls.

The Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CCAAC) said building three two-and-a-half storey homes on the planned site off Market Avenue would have a harmful impact on Chichester as a walled city.

The site is the last surviving town house garden of this size and period left in the city centre, dating back to the early 19th century.

CCAAC chairman Alan Green said in its letter of objection that this was a rare survival of a large townhouse garden in the city centre, and one which included a section of the City Walls and a bastion – a scheduled ancient monument.

“The three dwellings are an over-development of the site that would also damage the setting of Friary Close and the character of the avenue, at the same time destroying the very views from the house that its Georgian builder intended,” he declared.

Mr Green said the developers claimed the scheme would afford a new public view of the City Walls, but in fact the development as a whole would obscure more than it would expose.

City councillors also voted to object to the application at a meeting of their planning and conservation committee.

Bluesack Investments Ltd is seeking planning permission for a terrace of three two-and-a-half storey homes on the land which was formerly part of the large gardens of grade two listed Friary Close, built in 1811.

Reconstruction of part of a 19th-century boundary wall, which is not listed, is proposed in the application.

About a quarter of the application site comprises part of the ancient City Walls, which are privately owned in this area.

Developers say that the reconstruction of part of the 19th-century wall, re-using existing material, would create vehicular access and also open up a public view of a City Walls bastion tower and a section of the walls which at present is concealed behind the boundary wall.

Some city councillors claim the scheme would be an over-development of the site, and that car parking provision is inadequate.

Cllr Barbara Rees, who chaired the committee meeting, said there was no objection to the reconstruction of the wall, which would involve the creation of a nine-metre gap.

“We also welcome the fact that the public would see the bastion,” she added.

However, the district council’s own historic buildings advisor is objecting to the application.

Have your say

Do you object to the plans in the area of Chichester’s city walls?

You can cast your vote by clicking on the poll at the top right of this story.

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