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Leadership and tenacity needed to protect Chichester Harbour

The Chichester Harbour Trust welcomed the consideration of the challenges affecting the delivery of the new Chichester Local Plan at the full council meeting of Chichester District Council on Friday 12th March, particularly on waste water treatment and transport infrastructure and the impacts on our unique coastal environment.

A strong cohort of councillors stood up to question the delivery of the new Chichester Local Plan, recognising the unprecedented challenges facing the District, and the vulnerability of communities to speculative development. Councillors passed two motions urging the council to publicly recognise the difficulty in producing the plan, and to present a report on Infrastructure in July. Councillors called for leaders to take a more assertive stance with the regulators and political leaders.

John Nelson, Chairman, said “ In listening to the Council debate on Friday, we were encouraged to see that the Council members are now, for the first time, taking seriously the concerns around the local plan that we, the local communities and other organisations have been expressing over a long period of time. The motions carried by the Council make it clear they now require stronger and more vigorous leadership from Council leaders and officials, in addressing these issues. They expect the leadership to take a more assertive approach with Government and Government agencies, and they expect our MP to provide the support and advocacy that has been missing.

The production of the Local Plan will require a great deal of urgent work on the infrastructure issues; on the environmental issues; and on the landscape and wildlife issues. It will also require a new and imaginative approach on site selection, distribution, densities, wildlife corridors, impact on agriculture, adapting to the radical economic changes (particularly the impact of reduced retail on land availability) - and the need to adapt the plan to avoid increasing flood plain issues caused by climate change.

John adds “We, at the Chichester Harbour Trust, will be watching and monitoring the situation to see if our leaders have the determination to confront these issues. We will be supporting them in any way we can.”

Photo courtesy of Rick Gatley.

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