Councillors have debated plans to carry out a public consultation on a draft masterplan that has been developed for the principal and historic southern approach to the city.

The consultation will start on 29 June and will last for six weeks, ending on 10 August. Residents and businesses are invited to comment.

Known as the Southern Gateway Masterplan, the project aims to transform the area, which is considered the key point of access and arrival to the city. It provides the opportunity to create a vibrant new quarter, linking the city centre with the canal basin, public transport hubs and pedestrian, cycle and leisure routes. This would improve the look and feel of the area, as well as bringing huge economic benefits to the area.

The masterplan illustrates how the area would deliver new homes, business space, and tourism and leisure facilities. It would also improve transport links, providing more emphasis on cycling, walking and public transport; and regenerate the area, making first impressions count when people arrive in the city.

The area includes: the law courts and bus station; bus depot and Basin Road car park; Royal Mail sorting office and depot; land at the police station and former high school; land at Chichester Station; and Government offices.

The regeneration of the Southern Gateway is one of the ambitions of the Chichester Vision, which sets out how the public would like the city to evolve over the next 20 years. The top three things that people highlighted were to: reduce traffic in the centre of Chichester; support independent businesses; and create a better night time economy. The Southern Gateway masterplan will help towards realising these ambitions.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do help bring homes, jobs and a host of improved facilities for residents," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council. "We are inviting people from across the district to tell us what they think. This area is a key entry point to our wonderful city and so the Southern Gateway project aims to enhance and improve the physical connection between this part of the city and a number of other facilities and landmarks including the railway station, canal basin and the rest of the city centre.

"The project has been identified as part of work on the Chichester Vision. From this, we know that people want to see traffic reduced and improvements made to access for cyclists, walkers and for people using public transport.

"This is a major project and we know everyone will have a view, so we want to working closely with everyone who lives and works in the area to find the best option. We will be holdings a series of public exhibitions where people will be able to come and talk to the team involved and find out more."

The council is working with a number of organisations, including the Homes and Communities Agency, to secure funding and land.

People can take part in the consultation from 29 June.

Date of release: 21 June 2017

Reference: 3726