Chichester Local Plan 2021 - 2039: Proposed Submission

Ended on the 17 March 2023
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Chapter 2: Vision and Strategic Objectives

Characteristics of the Plan Area – A Spatial Portrait

2.1. Chichester District covers an area of almost 800 km2, stretching from the South Coast to the southern border of Waverley and East Hampshire in the north; and from Havant in the west to Arun and Horsham in the east. Over two-thirds of the district lies within the South Downs National Park. There are 33 parish councils located within the Local Plan area, including six parishes which are also partly located within the South Downs National Park.

2.2. The plan area([3]) is split in to three areas, each with different characteristics, landscapes and access to services:

  • The East-West Corridor, running across the width of the plan area, is varied in landscape with the inclusion of both larger settlements (including the city) and rural villages. It has the best transport connections and access to facilities in the plan area with the A27 and railway running throughout.
  • The Manhood Peninsula, located in the south of the plan area, is rich in coastal landscapes with the majority of the area covered by environmental designations. It also includes some of the plan area's larger settlements which rely heavily on limited road accessibility to the north towards Chichester city.
  • The North of the Plan Area is primarily rural in character with diverse landscapes, rich cultural and heritage assets and a number of dispersed settlements, some of which are relatively isolated and served by narrow lanes with limited public transport.

2.3. The cathedral city of Chichester is the main settlement with a population of around 29,193([4]) and is the principal location for the provision of higher education and shopping facilities. The city is renowned for its cathedral, its historic heritage and university and is the largest centre of employment in the plan area.

2.4. Outside Chichester city, the plan area has four other significant settlements that accommodate a range of facilities and services:

  • East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish has a population of around 4,899(4). Nearby beaches, especially those of West Wittering, are amongst the best in the South East, making them an extremely popular attraction for residents and holiday makers.
  • Selsey, at the tip of the Manhood Peninsula, is a town with a population of around 10,668(4). With one of the largest caravan parks in Europe, the population of the town more than doubles during the holiday season. It is also a focus for commercial activities such as horticulture, fishing and other marine related businesses.
  • Southbourne, to the west of Chichester, has a population of around 6,820(4) and has links to the nearby towns of Havant and Emsworth. Southbourne has a number of employment opportunities, a railway station, and a secondary school with a relatively modern leisure facility. The community facilities are dispersed throughout the settlement.
  • Tangmere, to the east of Chichester city, is a settlement of some 3,158(4) people. It hosts a number of local businesses and has some dispersed community facilities including shops and a medical centre. However, it currently lacks many of the amenities and services normally associated with a settlement of its size.

2.5. The A27 runs east-west through the plan area, connecting the area to Portsmouth and Southampton to the west, and eastwards to Worthing, Brighton and Eastbourne. There are also rail links along the South Coast and to London from Chichester city. North-south transport links are comparatively poorer in quality, and rural communities in the North of the plan area are fairly isolated.

Social Characteristics

2.6. The total population of Chichester District is 124,100([5]), a growth of 9.1% since 2011.

2.7. The percentage of the working age population (16-64) is below the national level of 62.3% at 55.8%. This is in contrast to those over the age of 65 at 27.7% compared to the national level of 18.5%.

2.8. By 2039, those of working age are expected to account for only half of Chichester District's total population([6]), whilst the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to account for 35%. An ageing population of this scale presents challenges for health and caring services, particularly in rural areas where access to transport, services and everyday activities is difficult. It also presents challenges in terms of service provision, particularly for high cost intensive services such as those related to primary health care.

2.9. The special qualities of the area offer a good quality of life, which creates a high demand for housing. This demand has caused a widening gulf between local incomes and house prices([7]). Whilst this affordability gap can be addressed in part by economic processes, the need to provide affordable housing remains a priority for the council. There is a lack of opportunity for young people to move in to, or remain in, the plan area because the housing stock is dominated by larger, more expensive properties, especially in relation to other parts of Coastal West Sussex and Hampshire. The amount of detached housing is above average, in particular outside Chichester city.

2.10. Ethnic minorities make up 7% of the total population of the district. This is lower than county (11.1%), regional (14.8%) and national (20.2%) averages.

2.11. Residents of the district have a good life expectancy, for males, this is 80.1 years and 84.5 years for females. This is in line with South East averages and slightly higher than the national averages([8]).

2.12. The 2011 Census found that 15.61% of Chichester's households did not have access to a car or van; this is lower than county, regional and national averages.

Economic Characteristics

2.13. The largest employment sectors in the plan area are retail, public administration (due to the presence of Chichester District and West Sussex County Councils in Chichester city), education (in particular the University of Chichester and Chichester College), horticulture and health. Higher value jobs which provide an opportunity to improve the productivity of the local economy are focused on advanced manufacturing and engineering; construction and civil engineering; and finance, insurance and business services.

2.14. An objective of the council is to foster a qualified and highly skilled workforce by improving opportunities for unemployed persons; working with the third sector and community-based organisations; and supporting stronger links between the University, the College and businesses.

2.15. The University of Chichester has two campuses; one in Chichester and the other in Bognor Regis (within Arun District). The University makes a valuable contribution as an educational institution and employer, and helps brand Chichester as a 'university city'. It is one of the largest employers in the city, providing around 1,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and contributing over £109m to the local economy(9). It has some 4,405 full-time students plus 1,135 part-time students([9]). The University is a top performer in terms of employability and retention rates, with nearly 96.5% of its students employed or in further study six months after graduating([10]).

2.16. The proportion of people in the district aged between 16 – 64 years with a level 4 qualification (degree level or above) is 45.6%. That is higher than the South East (45.1%) and National (43.5%) figures([11]).

2.17. There are three institutions in the plan area that offer further education for 16-18 year olds: Bishop Luffa Church of England School; Chichester High School and Chichester College. Chichester College is the largest further education institution in West Sussex.

2.18. There are a few large employers in the plan area (employing over 250 staff), particularly in Chichester city, but in general the local economy is based around micro (employing up to 9 staff), and small (employing between 10 and 50 staff) to medium (employing between 50-250 staff) sized businesses with high levels of self-employment. The majority of existing employment and business space is focused around Chichester city and the A27 corridor. This area benefits from good access to the main road and rail network and offers the best potential for attracting inward investment. However, there is also a need to support and diversify economic activity in the rural parts of the plan area, particularly on the Manhood Peninsula.

2.19. The employment rate of 16-64 year olds is slightly lower than the national average of 74.8% at 71.3%, however the proportion of people in part time employment is above both South East and National averages([12]).

2.20. Due to the combination of climate, soil quality and high light levels which prolong the growing season, the district's horticultural industry is amongst the largest producer of salad crops in the country and supplies much of the South East region. Major growers have established large scale glasshouse sites, which are mainly concentrated on the Manhood Peninsula and along the east-west corridor. In the Chichester and Arun coastal plain, horticultural production has a retail value of over £1 billion and employs over 7,500 permanent and seasonal workers([13]).

2.21. The visitor economy, including hotels, catering, campsites and other tourist facilities, is a significant employment sector. The district's scenic beauty, beaches, heritage sites, arts and crafts, festivals, museums and galleries and organisations in film, photography and new media, all have the quality and capacity to attract significant levels of visitors. Chichester Festival Theatre is the most influential regional theatre in Britain. It brings over £13 million into the local economy, through primary and secondary spend by the theatre and its summer season audience([14]). Outside the city there are a number of other heritage attractions and events such as Goodwood, which also bring in visitors and generate income.

Environmental Characteristics

2.22. Chichester District has a rich and varied natural, historic and built environment, stretching from the lowland marsh and creeks associated with Chichester Harbour and Pagham Harbour, across the coastal plain to the South Downs National Park, and the Weald further north.

2.23. In the North of the plan area, the "Low Weald" landscape is characterised by a mix of pasture and medium to small-scale arable fields. Further south, the Downland footslopes feature semi-open, large scale, arable fields and paddocks. The extensive coastline, which forms the southern border of the plan area, varies in character, with shingle ridges, sandy beaches, and a variety of wetlands, salt marsh and harbours, including the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The coastal and harbour areas are important for biodiversity, recreation and tourism.

2.24. The plan area has internationally designated habitats: Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Ramsar sites, and nationally designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. There are also various local designations for biodiversity, heritage and landscape, such as local wildlife sites, and National and Local Nature Reserves, as well as a number of Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological sites – a local designation to protect geology.

2.25. The UK's largest exposed-coast Managed Realignment Scheme is at Medmerry in the low-lying coastal plain between Selsey and Bracklesham. The scheme is managed by the RSPB as compensatory habitat for losses elsewhere in the Solent, and is internationally protected along with Chichester and Langstone Harbours and Pagham Harbour, which together provide one of the largest protected wetland sites in the UK.

2.26. Former gravel pits, canals, river corridors and ponds are also important wildlife habitats as well as a resource for leisure and recreation.

2.27. The district is distinctive by virtue of the very high quality and value of its historic environment which plays an important role in defining the character of the area. In addition to statutorily designated areas, there is a rich and diverse heritage of townscapes and landscapes. The key features of Chichester's historic environment are outlined below:

  • Archaeology – the district, as a whole, contains over 200 scheduled ancient monuments, and 580 archaeological priority areas (437 of these are in, or partially in, the National Park).
  • Buildings – there are over 3,200 listed buildings in the district, as well as a number of buildings which are identified as of local importance. These include positive buildings, locally listed buildings and non-designated buildings identified as heritage assets through the planning process.
  • Landscapes – the district has 86 conservation areas (of which 61 are in the National Park and 2 are shared between the district and the National Park), and 17 registered parks and gardens (2 of which are within the plan area).
  • Chichester City Centre – The city has a rich built heritage, including the city walls, cathedral, Bishop's Palace, medieval buildings such as the Market Cross, remains of monastic buildings in Priory Park and the Georgian city. The Roman walls defined the original city and survive today as one of the most intact city defences in the south of England.

2.28. The historic buildings and sites within the district are finite resources. A key issue is their management and protection to ensure their importance and value is retained, whilst recognising the need to accommodate new development([15]).

Issues and Opportunities facing the Plan Area

2.29. This Plan faces a number of important issues. To address these, it needs to:

  • Address the challenge of climate change with both mitigation and adaptation, taking account of the range of likely impacts, including future sea level rise, water scarcity, coastal change and surface water flooding, to drive nature-based solutions;
  • Plan for a range of new housing that meets the needs of local people, and their changing requirements at different stages of life, including affordable housing and specialist accommodation; helping young people and families to stay in the area;
  • Plan for suitable land and premises to enable local businesses to grow and flourish, responding to the changing nature of retail and employment patterns, and maintain vibrant city and town centres;
  • Support a diverse range of local jobs and services, including on the Manhood Peninsula, to reduce the need to travel, particularly by private car, supported by direct walking and cycling routes;
  • Plan to provide local infrastructure to support new development and seek opportunities to address existing infrastructure problems, such as those relating to the A27 and wastewater treatment;
  • Plan for new open space, recreation, education and leisure facilities to meet the needs of the growing population;
  • Protect and enhance the character of the area including the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the coastline and the setting of the South Downs National Park;
  • Protect, enhance and restore the area's biodiversity and habitats, capturing opportunities to identify and secure nature recovery networks and biodiversity net gain;
  • Enhance designated areas of international and national importance;
  • Protect and enhance the area's valuable heritage and historic assets;
  • Support the provision of renewable and low carbon energy generation.

Responding to the Climate Emergency

2.30. The council declared a climate emergency in July 2019. Local Plan policies are just one part of the local response to tackling this issue, ensuring that new developments in the plan area both mitigate climate change by contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and are adapted to the demands of a changing climate.

2.31. The council is also progressing and delivering a Climate Emergency Action Plan separately to the Local Plan process – the Action Plan seeks to deliver a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions year on year from 2019 to 2025 (representing a 47% reduction overall), both for the Council's own operations and for the whole district. This is just the first step – a more challenging target will be set beyond that to contribute towards the Government objective of net zero by 2050.

2.32. All proposals for new development should be considered in the context of a climate emergency. In the Chichester plan area, the likelihood of sea level rise and increased risk of flooding is a key consideration, alongside other impacts such as higher temperatures, water scarcity and more extreme weather events. Flood risk will be considered using the council's latest Strategic Flood Risk Assessment together with any more recent information from the Environment Agency.

2.33. Targets for CO2 emissions, fabric energy efficiency, primary energy rates and building emissions rates for new and existing buildings are set through Building Regulations which require (Reg 25B) that new buildings are "nearly zero energy". The 2022 updates to Approved Document Part L, which provides further detail of the requirements, form part of the government's move towards net zero carbon, including through the proposed Future Homes Standard and Future Buildings Standard which will see a phased reduction in energy use. The new Part L represents approximately a 31% reduction in energy use in dwellings compared to the previous Part L (2016 amendments), and 27% in non-residential buildings. This is an interim step prior to the full Future Homes and Future Building Standard which are due to be implemented in 2025, with consultation during 2023.

2.34. It is expected that CO2 equivalent emissions from homes built to the Future Homes Standard from 2025 will be 75-80% lower than those built to the previous requirements (i.e. Part L as amended in 2016, before the 2021 interim uplift).

2.35. Since all development, both residential and non-residential, must comply with the requirements of building regulations, these technical standards no longer need to be set in a policy in the Local Plan. The Design Principles Policy P1 covers other aspects of sustainable design.

Local Plan Vision

2.36. The Vision describes the sort of place that the Chichester plan area aspires to be by 2039. An overarching principle of the Local Plan is to support sustainable development and the local community in the context of a climate emergency. The council will enable the delivery of infrastructure, jobs, accessible local services and housing for future generations while protecting, conserving and enhancing the historic and natural environment.

2.37. The location, type and size of new development provided for will take account of local needs, demography, transport and the level of services available to settlements, in accordance with the Local Plan's settlement hierarchy.

The Vision is that by 2039, the Chichester plan area will be a place where people can:

  • Be confident that new development will be designed and located to mitigate and withstand climate change, taking account of factors such as sea level rise, high summer temperatures and the need to reduce greenhouse emissions from homes, businesses and travel;
  • Follow a socially and environmentally friendly way of life, reducing the contribution to climate change;
  • Know that the special natural environment and biodiversity of the area, including Chichester and Pagham Harbours, Medmerry Compensatory Habitat, and the strategic wildlife corridors and nature recovery networks are fully protected, managed and enhanced;
  • Choose from a variety of well designed, energy and water efficient low carbon homes to suit their incomes, needs, lifestyle and stage of life, in accessible locations close to existing or new services, meeting the needs of young people, families and older people;
  • Get about easily, safely and conveniently with less reliance on private cars –making use of the rail and bus network, and with more opportunities for active travel including walking and cycling;
  • Choose from a range of work opportunities to meet their aspirations for employment or use their entrepreneurial flair to start and grow their own creative, innovative and competitive business, moving towards a greener economy. Thriving sectors will include food and drink production and creative and low carbon industries supported by Chichester's natural and cultural assets, high tech manufacturing, as well as service and retail sectors needed to support the local and visitor population, including a night time economy attractive to all and improving the offer for young people and students;
  • Pursue a healthy lifestyle, benefitting from a sense of well-being supported by good access to health, leisure, open space and nature, sports and other essential facilities;
  • Learn new skills, with good access to education including colleges and Chichester University;
  • Enjoy a vibrant historic city, thriving towns and villages and areas of attractive, accessible and unspoilt harbours, coast and countryside;
  • Enjoy a high quality of life, enriched through opportunities to enjoy our local culture, arts, music and a conserved and enhanced heritage;
  • Live in sustainable neighbourhoods supported by necessary infrastructure and facilities, designed with natural processes to prevent storm flooding and enhance biodiversity;
  • Feel safe and secure;
  • Take advantage of new communication and information technologies; and
  • Feel a sense of community and empowered to help shape its future.

Chichester City and the East West Corridor

2.38. The emphasis will be upon consolidating and enhancing the role of Chichester city as the plan area's main centre, whilst also developing the role of key settlements to its east and west. The focus will be upon creating communities with good access to a range of employment opportunities and affordable housing for young people and families to balance the ageing population.

2.39. Chichester city will maintain its special significance as an economic and cultural centre serving a wide catchment area beyond the plan area. The vision for Chichester city to be attractive, distinctive and successful (as set out in 'Chichester Tomorrow – A Vision for Chichester City Centre) will be implemented thus ensuring the protection of the city's past while enhancing the future vitality of Chichester as the cultural capital of West Sussex, as a place of learning, and as an entrepreneurial retail and business centre. The city's employment base will adapt and evolve from an emphasis on public administration, to a base which is more diverse and reflects its highly regarded professional services and cultural offer. The city will enhance its reputation as a University City and centre of excellence for higher and further education and the arts with a range of opportunities for business, shopping, leisure and entertainment. The economic contribution that students make to the city will be further enhanced as graduates choose to remain within Chichester and set up businesses or seek local jobs. New sustainable neighbourhoods on the eastern and western sides of Chichester, along with the regeneration in the Southern Gateway and other small-scale development within the city centre will provide dwellings, jobs, retail opportunities and community facilities with good public transport, pedestrian and cycle links to other parts of the city. As an historic walled cathedral city, its rich cultural and architectural heritage will be conserved, enhanced and promoted together with the views and landscape value afforded by its setting.

2.40. New development will have taken place in a way which takes account of the wide range of social, environmental and economic aspirations of the community and the needs of future generations. Most of the new development will be well located in and around the main settlement of Chichester together with Tangmere and Southbourne.

2.41. Strategic development to the east and west of the city will seek to conserve and enhance the local distinctiveness, character and cohesion of existing settlements whilst recognising the important role of the city as the major focus for employment, shopping and leisure. This highly accessible transit corridor will be the focus for major new employment development, including new horticulture development within the defined Horticultural Development Areas.

2.42. The relationship between the National Park and significant natural areas to the south, especially Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will be carefully managed by maintaining and enhancing the countryside between settlements. Ecological connections between these areas will be promoted and enhanced through strategic wildlife corridors.

2.43. Southbourne and Tangmere will continue to grow and develop their role as settlement hubs by widening the range and improving the quality of public open space, leisure and community facilities for their respective local areas. For Southbourne, the aim is to take advantage of the village's good transport links and existing facilities to deliver significant new residential-led development within the broad location for development which will further enhance local facilities and offer opportunities to reinforce and supplement existing public transport, including bus routes.

2.44. For Tangmere, the vision is to significantly enhance the village's range of facilities to the benefit of the local community through the development of new dwellings and workspace. At the same time, improved and additional bus services and cycleways will provide better connections to Chichester city and east to Barnham and the 'Five Villages' area in Arun District.

2.45. Between Chichester and Southbourne, the Plan provides for more moderate levels of growth within the parishes of Fishbourne, Bosham and Chidham & Hambrook, enabling the service villages that they contain to continue to grow to meet housing need, with opportunities to support and expand existing facilities and for increased use of public transport options.

Manhood Peninsula

2.46. The emphasis will be mainly upon protecting and enhancing the special qualities of the coast and its rural hinterland, which attract residents, visitors and businesses to the area. In recognition of the semi-rural nature of some settlements and the proximity to internationally important wildlife habitats such as Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Compensatory Habitat, a selective and sensitive approach to development will be taken.

2.47. The coastal settlements of Selsey and East Wittering and Bracklesham will thrive as centres for commercial and social activities that meet the needs of local residents, businesses and visitors alike. Opportunities for regeneration that arise in these settlements will support their role as tourist resorts. The local visitor economy will develop niche markets including green tourism, reflecting the area's natural assets and shift from a day trip destination to one which encourages short stay breaks. In particular, places such as the Medmerry Compensatory Habitat and Pagham Harbour will serve to extend the tourism season.

2.48. Local industries such as horticulture, agriculture, fishing and tourism will flourish with a particular focus on local food production. An 'enterprise' culture, building on high levels of entrepreneurship and self-employment, will be developed further by, for example, improving links with academic institutions in Chichester.

North of the Plan Area

2.49. For the North of the Plan area, the emphasis will be primarily upon maintaining the rural character of the existing villages, whilst enabling the local communities to become more self-reliant in meeting their local needs. The conservation and enhancement of the historic environment, the high-quality landscapes and the agricultural and other rural activities that support it will remain paramount.

2.50. Whilst recognising that the area will look predominantly to centres outside the plan area for major shopping, employment, leisure and other services, wherever possible opportunities will be sought to maintain and enhance local services such as shops, schools and health facilities, and provide for local employment.

2.51. Loxwood will develop its role as a larger village with development potential. In other villages, some limited development will take place, balancing the need to retain the rural character of the area with the issue of addressing local housing needs and affordability. New housing and employment will be focused mainly in the larger villages to help support local facilities and sustainable settlements. It will remain an area popular with self-employment and jobs created through tourism and rural diversification.

Cross Boundary Strategic Objectives

2.52. As referenced previously, the council has been working with other local authorities to identify strategic objectives across a wider area, in line with the duty to cooperate. The following objectives, as set out in Local Strategic Statement 2 (LSS2), have been agreed by the Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Planning Board. Work is currently underway to update this to form a new Local Strategic Statement 3. More detail on how each objective will be delivered is contained in the LSS. The Local Plan Strategic Objectives are in line with these wider objectives.

Strategic Objective 1: Delivering Sustainable Growth
Strategic Objective 2: Meeting Strategic Housing Needs
Strategic Objective 3: Investing in Infrastructure
Strategic Objective 4: Managing Environmental Assets and Natural Resources

2.53. Linked to these Objectives, the LSS also identifies Spatial Priorities which set out a framework for investment and strategic planning for the period to 2015. Those below are of most direct relevance to the Chichester Plan Area:

Spatial Priority 2: Chichester city/Tangmere/Bognor Regis gives priority to the infrastructure improvements needed to support delivery of strategic employment and housing sites identified in the Chichester and Arun Local Plans.

Spatial Priority 9: Rural Sussex sets out that the local authorities and South Downs National Park will work together with partners to ensure that the rural parts of the sub-region benefit from long-term sustainable growth.

Strategic Objectives

2.54. The Local Plan aims to address the issues facing the plan area to deliver the spatial vision for the plan area by 2039, ensuring that Chichester develops in the most sustainable way possible. The Plan also contributes to the delivery of the Vision, Objectives and Spatial Priorities for the wider Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Area in the Local Strategic Statement (LSS2) and the emerging LSS3. In order to achieve this, a number of objectives have been identified.

Objective 1: Climate Change

To mitigate and adapt to climate change, contributing towards a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in line with the council's Climate Emergency Action Plan and the longer-term Government objective to achieve net zero by 2050.

New development will be in accessible locations, designed to reduce reliance on the private car with convenient walking and cycling routes and public transport to access local facilities and open spaces. Developments will be resilient to climate change through incorporating sustainable design and construction and the consideration of landform, layout, building orientation, massing and landscaping and nature-based solutions to minimise energy and water use and flood risk. The potential for future sea level rise and erosion will be fully considered, with new development located in areas at lowest risk of flooding from all sources in accordance with the sequential test. In coastal areas new development will be set back from the coast.

Objective 2: Natural Environment

To protect and enhance the natural environment, achieving net gains in biodiversity, nature recovery and tree cover, contributing towards improvements in the condition of designated sites including Chichester Harbour, Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Compensatory Habitat, and protecting wildlife and landscape character.

Development will achieve net gains in biodiversity and be located to avoid adverse impacts on designated sites and ensure that any necessary mitigation is delivered. Low lying land around Chichester Harbour which is likely to be flooded as sea levels rise will be protected to contribute to natural flood management and enable restoration of natural habitats such as saltmarsh and coastal grazing marsh which act as effective carbon stores and support valuable wildlife, making space for it to adapt to climate change effects. Relevant adjacent higher sites will remain available for birds and other wildlife. Strategic nature recovery networks including wildlife corridors will link habitats as part of the green infrastructure and local ecological network. All relevant developments will also be nutrient neutral to protect water quality.

Objective 3: Housing

To deliver suitable, well designed, energy efficient and affordable housing to meet local needs, in safe and accessible neighbourhoods with mixed and balanced communities.

Housing of suitable size and type will be delivered to meet the needs of a range of budgets and ages, including both market and affordable housing, and specialist housing, including opportunities for communal living and self and custom build. Good design will consider climate change, help to reduce crime and the fear of crime, create beautiful places accessible to all, build communities, and be well integrated with existing communities and facilities.

Objective 4: Employment and Economy

To support the delivery of a strong, thriving and diverse economy, improving job opportunities for all skill levels while supporting a move to a diverse and low carbon economy.

A suitable range of employment sites will be delivered across the plan area to support local employment needs. Key employment sectors such as horticulture, food and drink production, tourism and creative industries, which are underpinned by the area's natural and cultural assets will continue to thrive. The dynamic local knowledge-based economy will excel in innovation and continue to diversify, supported by the local higher education providers and gigabit capable broadband. Sustainable rural and manufacturing sectors will continue to be important reflecting the council's Economic Development Strategy and Inward Investment and Growth Strategy. Opportunities for employment and self-employmentwill help retain young talent in the area and retain a skilled workforce.

Chichester city will have a key role as a vibrant sustainable city with a good range of business, leisure and retail uses based on the aims of the Chichester Vision, with smaller centres also offering a good range of business and retail to serve local communities and reduce the need to travel.

Objective 5: Health and Well-being

To encourage and enable healthy and active lifestyles for all, improving health indicators and life expectancy.

New development will be designed with safe and convenient access to linked green and blue spaces, contributing to the strategic provision of multifunctional green infrastructure with recognised benefits to health and well-being; health, leisure and play facilities and opportunities for active travel to support active lifestyles and healthy communities. Development will contribute to air quality improvements.

Objective 6: Design and Heritage – Ensuring Beautiful Places

To create safe and beautiful places, protecting and enhancing the area's heritage and character with high standards of design, ensuring new development is well integrated and accessible to all.

The National Design Code will be supplemented by local design codes to support the delivery of beautiful, safe and accessible places, supported by open space, green and blue infrastructure. Development will be designed to positively contribute to the quality of the area, being attractive and sympathetic to local character while maintaining a strong sense of place. New development will maximise opportunities to create safe, accessible and inclusive communities, promoting health and well-being, active travel, and supporting local services and facilities.

Objective 7: Strategic Infrastructure

To work with infrastructure providers to ensure the timely delivery of key infrastructure to support delivery of new development.

New development will be supported by sufficient provision of infrastructure to enable the sustainable delivery of the development strategy for the plan area. Key infrastructure to support the Local Plan will include improvements to transport, open space and green infrastructure, education, health, water supply and removal, telecommunications, flood risk and coastal change management and the provision of minerals and energy.

A sustainable and integrated transport system will be achieved through improvements to walking and cycling networks and links to accessible public transport. Highway improvements will be delivered to mitigate congestion, including measures to mitigate potential impacts on the A27 through a monitor and manage process.

Sewerage undertakers will need to work with regulators to deliver improvements in wastewater infrastructure to support new development and to ensure adverse environmental impacts are avoided on internationally designated habitats. Improvements to water efficiency, conservation and storage capacity will be made.

Infrastructure requirements will be kept under review through the Infrastructure Delivery and Business Plans and development will be phased to align with provision of essential infrastructure.

[3] Where information is not available at plan area scale, district-wide information is referred to

[4] ONS Mid-Year Parish Population Estimates 2020

[5] 2021 Census

[6] HEDNA Update 2022

[7] Median house prices are 14 times the median earnings of those working in the district (HEDNA Update 2022)

[8] Life Expectancy at birth, ONS (published September 2021)

[9] HEDNA Update 2022

[10] Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2018

[11] ONS Annual Population Survey (for the period Jan – Dec 2021)

[12] Employee jobs 2020, ONS Business Register and Employment Survey

[13] HEDNA January 2018

[15] Chichester Historic Environment Strategy and Action Plan 2017

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