Chichester’s Local Plan was adopted in 2015. The independent planning inspector, however, required the district council to complete a review within five years to make sure sufficient housing would be planned to meet the needs of the area. This work will form the Chichester Local Plan Review 2034 and covers that part of the district outside the national park. The Society keeps an eye on plans being drawn up for areas just outside the national park to ensure that the park is adequately protected.
Our response to the recent public consultation appears below:
Chichester Local Plan Review 2034 Issues and Options Consultation
These are the comments of the South Downs Society, the national park society for the South Downs National Park. The Society has nearly 2,000 members and its focus is the conservation and enhancement of the special qualities of the national park and their quiet enjoyment. Our comments on this consultation are restricted to those questions of greatest relevance to us.
Qu 1: Cross boundary issues/duty to co-operate
The setting of the national park is a key element of its quality. The District Council, through the local plan and other decision making processes, has a statutory duty under Section 62 of the 1995 Environment Act to have regard to the designation of the park. The local plan must demonstrate how this duty is to be discharged.
Qu 9: Spatial principles
The Society’s three highest priorities from those listed:
- Locate development to minimise its impact on protected or locally important landscapes, heritage and biodiversity
- Focus development in locations where there is greatest potential to maximise sustainable travel (public transport, walking and cycling)
- Focus development in locations where there is greatest accessibility to employment, local services and facilities
Qu 12: Suitable locations for strategic development
Sites within Chichester City and south as far as the A27 should be considered to accommodate strategic residential development that will be well served by rail and bus services and close to the city’s amenities. City centre development is suggested in order to minimise the need for travel, and to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport as an alternative to the private car.