Residents launch Stand Up for Chichester campaign to halt large developments and put Chichester Local Plan on hold

Residents have launched a new campaign, Stand Up for Chichester, in support of the bid by Chichester Harbour Trust and Chichester Harbour Conservancy to halt large developments in the district and get the Chichester Local Plan put on hold.
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The campaign, set up by SOSCA (Save Our South Coast Alliance) and Manhood Peninsula Action Group (MPAG), was launched by Louise Goldsmith at the Bosham Association annual meeting, held virtually on Saturday afternoon.

She explained that residents are working closely with the trust and its chairman, John Nelson, in asking for a halt or moratorium on large planning development and the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan until three key areas are resolved, as reported in last week’s Observer.

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Chichester District Council urged to put Chichester Local Plan on hold
Save Our South Coast Alliance supporters with John Nelson, chairman of Chichester Harbour Trust, at Dell Quay in March last yearSave Our South Coast Alliance supporters with John Nelson, chairman of Chichester Harbour Trust, at Dell Quay in March last year
Save Our South Coast Alliance supporters with John Nelson, chairman of Chichester Harbour Trust, at Dell Quay in March last year
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Louise, chairman of SOSCA, said: “Stand Up for Chichester was launched on Saturday at the Bosham Association AGM, where it was very well received.

“We know that so many are very deeply concerned about the proposed number of houses, 753 per year for 15 years starting from 2022.

“We live in a beautiful area steeped in history going back to the Romans and before. This unique area, with the South Downs National Park, the Chichester and Pagham harbours, and Medmerry, is an amazing place to live, but that means there is far less available land for development – just over the 30 per cent of the land area.

“It is like the old saying ‘squeezing a quart into a pint pot’ or, simply put, there is not enough available land. Some of that available land will be subject to flooding and sea level rise in coming years. We know this represents considerable challenges for Chichester District Council.

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“No account of this has been taken into account in the government’s centrally-allocated housing numbers for the district. What we currently have is a very blunt instrument – doing its worst.

“That’s because the government considers it can drive house prices down in the south east based on the flawed economic theory that ‘pile them up high and sell em cheap’ works when selling oranges in a market, but not for selling houses in a very special environmentally-sensitive area.

“The South Downs, and the Chichester and Pagham Harbours, along with Medmerry, provide very important protected habitats for so much wildlife but these areas are under very serious threat from surrounding overdevelopment. There is talk of environmental corridors which is a start, but long term we need bio regions to ensure greater connectivity of our wildlife to allow it to thrive.”

Campaigners say there are three other very serious threats – nitrate run-off into the harbours and watercourses, the woeful lack of sewage capacity and the lack of investment in the road infrastructure.

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They believe the halt on the Local Plan and a moratorium on house building are needed until these issues are resolved.

But they are not against development - they would like to see good-quality social housing for people to rent and bring up their families, and say this is ‘so needed’.

Louise explained: “This would help to bring economic benefits to the area and far better than the current few affordable homes scatter gunned around the district.”

A flyer is being sent out urging residents to write to Chichester MP Gillian Keegan and Chichester District Council leader Eileen Lintill. Visit and for more information.

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