Nightclub, concert hall, pedestrianised city centre: Bold vision for Chichester unveiled

Does Chichester need a concert hall, shopping centre or nightclub?

One idea is to turn Little London car park into an open market space. Copyright Chichester District Council
One idea is to turn Little London car park into an open market space. Copyright Chichester District Council

Does the city need bold changes to reduce traffic, better signage or more open spaces?

Chichester District Council, together with partners of the Chichester Vision Group, are preparing a 20-year vision for the city and appealing to residents to add their ideas.

The authority will launch a consultation at the end of the month and will hold public exhibitions to gather views.

A West Street piazza is one of a number of long-standing ideas which is named in the vision consultation document. Copyright CDC

CDC economic development manager Stephen Oates said: “The task is to re-imagine our city’s future and in preparing the vision for Chichester’s future we have one simple question – what do you want Chichester to be?”

The council has already spoken to 28 organisations and more than 1,000 individuals as part of a series of studies and workshops.

The initial work has formed a draft vision – but the wider public will be consulted before the final document is produced.

Leader Tony Dignum said: “The vision’s aim is to establish a framework in which we can protect the essence of our past while enhancing the future vitality of our city.

“We want to ensure our future as the cultural capital of West Sussex, as a place of learning and as a leading retail and commercial centre.”

The council’s studies have identified a number of key themes. Surveys have indicated a desire for fewer cars in the city centre, more pedestrianisation and priority given to walking and cycling over cars.

Mr Oates told the Observer ideas to boost the night-time economy stretched further than requests for a night club.

Possibilities could include later shopping hours, improvements to street lighting, a concert hall, comedy club or outdoor space for performances.

The Chichester Vision will closely link to the regeneration of the Southern Gateway – which will see the transformation of sites including the bus station, canal basin and law courts.

A guide for consultants suggested the Royal Mail sorting office site could house cafés, restaurants, bars and specialist retail. The bus depot could be suitable for student accommodation or employment uses.

The six-week consultation runs from January 30 to March 12.

People will be able to view the documents and contribute online by going to and paper copies will be available at the main Chichester District Council officers at East Pallant House; The Novium Museum; Chichester City Council and Chichester Library.

Public exhibitions will also be held on Thursday, February 2 at The Assembly Rooms, The Council House in North Street; and at Chichester College and the University of Chichester, dates to be confirmed.