We aim to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural improvements by building on the unique identities and characteristics of our communities. We recognise that, to be successful, programmes need to grow from a strong understanding of context. They also need the support of local people.

Chichester historic environment strategy and action plan

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published in March 2012, states at paragraph 126 that "local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats". In doing so, they should recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance. In developing this strategy, local planning authorities should take into account:

  • the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation;

  • the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits that conservation of the historic environment can bring;

  • the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness; and

  • opportunities to draw on the contribution made by the historic environment to the character of a place.

The heritage strategy is intended to meet these requirements and to ensure that the council continues to meet its duties and responsibilities having regard to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

An effective Historic Environment Strategy is needed to ensure our diverse historic environment is fully utilised as a catalyst for future growth. Improving the quality of place and promoting our outstanding heritage offer, can support Chichester's local economy by attracting inward investment, and ensuring it remains an attractive place to live and work in and visit.

The purpose of the Historic Environment Strategy is, therefore, to provide a framework and context for how we continue to enjoy, preserve, manage, interpret and promote our historic environment during the 21st Century and the numerous challenges this presents. This is a shared commitment; the council cannot work alone and involves working with partners both inside and outside the Council to develop a joined up approach to heritage issues, identifying priorities and creating an achievable action plan to deliver them.

As noted in Historic England's Conservation Principles' document (2008), the historic environment is a shared resource. Conserving the Districts heritage assets requires broad public support, understanding and indeed involvement. The Conservation Strategy will provide for wider community involvement in respect of the historic environment. The council is proud of the Districts diverse cultural heritage, for which the District is well known. It seeks to make best use of this considerable asset, and through the publication of this strategy, to prioritise our work for the continued conservation and enhancement of this heritage.

The Historic Environment Strategy has been prepared to clarify the council's responsibilities and confirm its commitment towards the conservation of Chichester District's historic environment. It includes an Action Plan setting out our approach and a means for identifying priorities for future work of the historic environment service. It is proposed that the plan will be supported by an Action Plan program which would be reviewed on an annual basis, linked to the Council's Service Plan. You can download the plan by following the link below.

Chichester Historic Environment Strategy

Regeneration projects

The Council has also supported a number of regeneration projects that seek to maximise the benefits of the special qualities of areas within the District. These can contribute to better understanding of the District's history and heritage and maximise potential for place making. Details of past projects are provided below.

Selsey east beach regeneration master plan

The sea is at the heart of Selsey's past, present and future and in new proposals for improvements to the town's East Beach area. Regeneration is centred on the fishing beach and the area surrounding the public toilets, café kiosk and fishermen's huts, but the wider master plan will also look at Orchard Parade, East Beach Pond Nature Reserve, the play area and car park.

The main aim is to improve facilities at East Beach for the fishing industry, community and visitors. Plans also involve providing better access to the beach, footpath and sea, including wheelchair accessible ramps.