Chichester Harbour Trust response on the Chichester Local Elections
The remarkable shift in the local election results to a Lib Dem-led Chichester District Council provides a major opportunity for the District and Chichester Harbour to be put on a path to environmental recovery - reversing what was becoming a potential catastrophe for the district and the Harbour.
It is clear the community wants change now. They want common sense policies with strong leadership, something that has been absent in recent Chichester history.
We, at the Chichester Harbour Trust, are calling for:
- Major changes in the local plan to avoid the massive environmental impact on Chichester Harbour in terms of over development, public health, landscape, biodiversity, water quality and recreation.
- Specifically we are calling for a moratorium on all significant new development while changes to the local plan are developed and until plans for the essential infrastructure are put in place;
- A strong proactive energetic relationship to be developed by the CDC with the Environment Agency, Natural England, OFWAT, Southern Water, the agricultural community, the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and ourselves to develop specific plans radically to improve the water quality in the Harbour and its surroundings rapidly.
- Difficult as it may be, develop a constructive dialogue with current Westminster government ministers (something that has been sadly lacking) in order to ensure their housing policy does not ignore the unique circumstances of Chichester, the Harbour, the AONB and its juxtaposition with the South Downs National Park.
- To ensure CDC has the right professional expertise and support to execute these changes.
We look forward to working with the new CDC leadership team.
Chair, Chichester Harbour Trust.