As you know, we have carried out extensive work and research that shows that improvements to the A27 Chichester Bypass, a Stockbridge Link Road and sustainable transport infrastructure are required in order to meet our full housing needs as determined by the Government.

We also told you that at the moment, there isn't sufficient external funding to deliver the full package of A27 mitigation improvements and infrastructure improvements, and so currently the Chichester Local Plan is currently unlikely to be able to meet the full housing targets set by the Government.

We also explained that we have spoken to a Planning Inspector who has said that before concluding that our housing needs cannot be met, we need to determine what level of housing could be achieved based on deliverable improvements to the A27; consider whether our full housing needs could be met another way, which means looking again at other parts of the Local Plan area; and investigate if neighbouring authorities can help meet our housing needs.

You can read a more detailed update on this in the winter 2021 edition of our initiatives magazine.

Since then, we have been busy moving things forward. We are carrying out huge amounts of work, looking at the amount and location of housing that can be accommodated sustainably and what new roads and other critical infrastructure would be needed. This is not a simple exercise because it requires us to carry out detailed assessments, accounting for all sorts of things, from the environmental impact, to local economic needs.

 

What have we achieved so far?

 

  • We've started looking at options around the redistribution of housing and the number of homes that we believe the Chichester plan area could accommodate in view of infrastructure and environmental constraints. We are also carrying out further transport studies to see how these options could work.
  • We've spoken to our neighbouring authorities to see if they would be able to help us meet our housing needs. These conversations are ongoing.
  • We've contacted local infrastructure providers to gather evidence on what will be required moving forward.

 

What steps are left to take?

  • Once the updated transport studies have been revised, we will then meet with National Highways and West Sussex County Council to get their views.
  • We will complete a further appraisal of other parts of the plan area to assess the scope for development there.
  • If the highway authorities are happy, we will then meet with the Planning Inspectorate again to review where we are up to and to see if they are happy for us to move to the next stage.
  • If they are happy with our progress, we will then complete the draft plan and consult with you on it.
  • The feedback you provide us will then be packaged alongside the plan and submitted to the Inspector.
  • The Planning Inspector will then review the plan as part of the Examination process and hopefully, this will be approved and adopted.

 

Myth buster

We recognise that there has been a lot of concern around the special qualities, infrastructure and environmental constraints of the Manhood Peninsula. We want to assure you that these have been recognised in the emerging plan, which seeks to direct the bulk of future development elsewhere in the plan area.

If, through our work on the Local Plan Review, there is evidence that the Government's housing requirements cannot be achieved, it is then for the Planning Inspector to decide if less housing should be delivered.
 

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