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Current Concerns Last Updated: 02 April 2019

Current Concerns

A27 Chichester Bypass

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Following Highways England's rejection of the Councils' plans in December 2018, work continues to develop a broadly acceptable solution (as reported by Chichester Post here). Hopefully this will complement CDC's Local Plan !

Back Story - how did we get here ?

Following cancellation of the Chichester A27 project in March 2017, Workshops involving interested parties from the Community were set up. Their aim was to work towards a broadly acceptable solution and we attended these and worked with the Councils over the summer. Highways England gave a September deadline for this to be achieved and despite the best efforts of our new MP were unwilling to extend that date. Their offer was essentially Option 2 (see below) take it or leave it.

This being the case, it was agreed that the offer would not be taken up, because from a local point-of-view, Option 2 had some serious flaws. (See report in the Chichester Observer - here)

West Sussex County Council produced an outline consultancy brief and appointed Consultants Systra to work on alternative plans with the intention to 'bid' for inclusion in Highways England's next Road Investment Strategy cycle ( RIS 2 )

Local involvement continues via. meetings with the the Build A Better A27 group (BABA27) on which we have a representative. Systra were present at the BABA27 Meeting on 7th February and our report on this is here

Systra then produced their "paper [which] introduces the approach to developing the `long-list' of suggestions to be taken forward to sifting in the next work package". This included some Northern Bypass options :-

  • "New strategic northern route between A27 west of Fishbourne junction and near to Tangmere, with a junction at the A286 to give access to Midhurst and north Chichester, or no intermediate junction"

    ie. One of the 'leaked' routes from 2015 (you'll need to scroll down the document to find northern options 4 and 5)

  • "New local northern route between A27 west of Fishbourne junction and Temple Bar utilising and improving some existing local roads to limit new construction."

    ie. Improving the current Rat Run.

  • "New multi-purpose road northern route between A27 west of Fishbourne and near to the A27 at Portfield providing a stronger local functionality than route variants above, including junctions on B2178 and A286"

    ie. The route considered and rejected in 1980, which one of our members has sketched out here .

  • Our survey last year showed that more than 90% of our members were strongly (in some cases vehemently) opposed to a Northern route. So, as the time scale for responses was short, we held an Extraordinary Committee Meeting on Wednesday 21st of March, which was attended by both committee and ordinary members. We worked through the 19 pages of Systra's 'Long List' and resolved to oppose Northern options through the BABA27 process. Minutes of that meeting are here and our letter to WSCC setting out our position is here

    WSCC and CDC held meetings as follows during the first week of June 2018 to decide what to propose to Highways England.

    WSCC
    The Environment, Communities and Fire Select Committee meeting was held on Monday 4th of June. It was expected that they would vote for the 'Mitigated Northern' option with 'Full Southern' as a reasonable alternative, as their briefing paper recommended. It did however suggest that "this approach is unlikely to demonstrate to Highways England and Government that there is community consensus". Perhaps influenced by this, a last minute motion saw the Southern option dropped and only the Northern proposed. Whether Highways England will see this as demonstrating consensus remains to be seen!
    The Council's webcast of the meeting is here.

    CDC
    A Special Cabinet Meeting held on Friday 8th of June 2018
    Item. 5. A27 Chichester Bypass Improvements: Submission to the Government's Roads Improvement Strategy " ... Approach A be supported as being desirable without indicating a preference for either option ie promoting both the 'mitigated northern route' and the 'full southern route'."
    In the event, they decided to favour the 'Mitigated Northern' option with 'Full Southern' as a reasonable alternative.

    Following the rejection of the Councils' A27 plans by Highways England in December 2018 and ahead of the proposed meeting between Highways England, the Councils and our MP, the A27Action group released a statement outlining their view of the way forward. We have a copy here

    Further details and links

    Systra's final report proposed two possible routes - one North and one South.
    Their Feedback Anaysis suggested that local support is about evenly split between the two options ie. there was no consensus.

    These are options 4 and 5 from 2015, which Systra refer to in their Final Report.

    Our notes on the last BABA27 meeting (18th March) are here

    West Sussex County Council's A27 Action Site

    Visualisations of the different plans included in the 2016 consultation :-
  • Option 1
  • Option 1a
  • Option 2
  • Option 3
  • Option 3a
  • The brochure with maps and details outlining the original plans is here
    Where the favoured Option 2 is not much different from the 2004 proposal documented here and which looked like this :- A27 2004 proposal

    As to the possibility of a Northern Bypass, we can't find documentation of the 1976 (?) proposal - please let the webmaster know if you find some!

    While were waiting for Highways England to respond to the Council's proposals regarding the A27, there was time for some homework on how Green Bridges might be used in mitigation for routes North or South.
    We visited the Green Bridge at Scotney Castle to see what it looks like and from the top you wouldn't know it was there (it's somewhere in the middle of this picture). Scotney Castle Green Bridge
    It has to be said though that if you stop the car and get out, it does nothing to mitigate the noise from the A21 below.
    However, it is good for wildlife - no more squashed animals as they run the gauntlet of fast moving traffic - and for incorporating cycle paths etc.
    So Green Bridges may help, but they are not Mitigation Magic.

    There's lots more about them here :-
  • Government Press Release on the Natural England Green Bridges Report
  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - Powerpoint
  • Natural England Green Bridges Report
  • Landscape Institute - Technical Guide
  •  

     

    And finally, Highways England have published their proposed route for the Stonehenge bypass. "The 8 mile (13 kilometre) route, between Amesbury and Berwick Down in Wiltshire, [which] includes a 1.8-mile tunnel " ie. a similar length to a northern bypass for Chichester and with a couple of miles of tunnel. The planned cost is 1.6 Billion GBP.

     

     

    Chichester on-street-parking consultation

    You may remember the Chichester Road Space Audit from 2017 and that in 2018 West Sussex County Council agreed to put forward a Parking Management Plan. That has now been published and their 'Executive Summary' is here
    A number of their suggestions may be contentious, not least the the proposal to extend the 'Controlled Parking Zones', which currently apply to the City centre, to cover the whole of Chichester. The deadline for responses was Sunday 31 March. The feedback will now be analysed and a report made to the South Chichester County Local Committee in June.

    Further information is on the WSCC website here

    Parking Zone maps for the Summersdale Area are as flollows :-
  • Zone P
  • Zone Q
  • Zone R
  • Chichester District Council's Local Plan

     

    The 2035 Plan

    Consultation ended on Thursday 7th February 2019. Links to further details on the Council's website as follows :-

  • Exhibition Boards from the Road Show
  • Consultation Document
  • Various background documents
  • Transport Study (which includes plans for Hamburger roundabouts (junction improvements) on A27 - see section 7 - Transport Mitigation Strategy - p 60 ff)
  •  

    CDC - HELAA - 2018

    Chichester District Council has produced its Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) the purpose of which is to "identify and assess sites that may have potential to accommodate future housing and economic development".

    Parish Maps are shown which give a clear picture of which areas are Allocated, Under construction, Achievable or Rejected. All the parishes are included and we have links here to the nearest ones as follows :-

  • Chichester
  • Lavant
  • Westhampnet
  • Full details are on the District Council's website here

     

    Land East of Graylingwell

    Commercial Estates Group are planning development on land at Westhampnet (Old Place Farm - 300 houses) and abutting Graylingwell (200) - the total of 500 houses being fulfilment of Policy 17 of the Local Plan.

    They were represented at the enquiry in the matter of 'Land South of Madgwick Lane' by Nexus Planning who said at the time, that they are "... currently promoting land to the north east of Chichester for the development of up to 1,000 new homes through the emerging Chichester local plan process." ... so they will no doubt be pressing to double the number of houses currently allowed for in the Plan.

    Outline plans for Phases 1 and 2 are shown here

    And a copy of their exhibition flier here.

     

    Development of the current plan (2014 - 2029)

    The draft proposal has been adopted and full details can be found on the Council's website

    For more information about development of the Local Plan, have a look at the following links :-
  • The Plan (ie. CDC's 'Preferred Option') is on their website here
  • SRA'a considered response is on our website here
  • A copy of the study that the numbers are based on - the Coastal West Sussex Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update (also known as the SHMAU) - is here
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (also known as the NPPF) is here
  • And finally, a reminder in case we forget, as to why development should be directed away from the flood plain of the river Lavant as the Draft Policy promises it will!

    Floods

    And why there needs to be a 'buffer zone' between housing and the airfield !

    The one that got away