Green light is given for regeneration of Chichester's Southern Gateway

The biggest regeneration project that Chichester has seen for decades has been given the go ahead by Chichester District councillors.

They approved the Southern Gateway Masterplan and accompanying delivery plan, which will see the southern area of Chichester transformed into a vibrant and attractive new quarter.

The area which will feature new homes; business and retail space; leisure and tourism facilities; improved transport links and a focus on cycling, walking and public; transport; and public space enhancements and landscaping.

The 30-acre brownfield site includes several parcels of land: the bus station and garage; Basin Road car park; the law courts; Chichester Police Station; part of the former high school; and the Royal Mail depot buildings.

A key feature of the transformation will involve helping reduce the dominance of traffic in this part of the city with the aim of better connecting the city centre to the canal basin and public transport hubs.

This will be achieved by limiting vehicle access across Stockbridge Road to buses and improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Basin Road will also be realigned to create a new junction on Stockbridge Road while pedestrian access around the Southgate Gyratory will improved by carrying out work to reduce the width and number of lanes.

"The Southern Gateway is the flagship scheme for the Chichester Vision," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council. "The Vision is looking across the next 20 years to see how the city centre can be enhanced, while at the same time protecting our heritage.

"As part of the Chichester Vision, people said they wanted to reduce traffic in the city and create a more diverse evening culture. The Southern Gateway will help to meet these ambitions. We are aiming to help boost local jobs and the economy and we hope the gateway project will attract high growth, high value sectors such as finance, digital, pharmaceutical and creative industries.

"The idea is to make the area look more attractive and welcoming to people arriving in the city and make the canal basin feel more integral to the city centre.

"It's going to take time to deliver this project but it's a very exciting time and we hope the first sites will be released into the scheme by March next year. We are then aiming for the first planning application to be submitted late 2018, with work starting in June 2019.  We will keep members of the public informed and people will have the opportunity to provide more input in the run up to selecting a developer, and when the planning application is submitted."

A masterplan takes an overview of a development area and sets out the general principles for how that area should be developed and the range of uses that are acceptable. As the scheme takes shape, detailed planning applications will be submitted and the public will have the opportunity to have their say.

"By drawing up a masterplan, the site will be developed in a strategic rather than piecemeal way," adds Cllr Dignum. "Because the landowners are working together with council input, the project will also help attract public funding."

People can keep in touch by looking in the council's residents' magazine initiatives, looking out for updates on the council's Facebook and Twitter pages as well as signing up for the council's email newsletter and checking the website.

Date of Release: 22 November 2017                      

Reference: 3771