Local Plan Review: Preferred Approach 2016-2035

Ended on the 7 February 2019

(50) Spatial Vision and Strategic Objectives

(4) Spatial Planning Vision

3.1 The Vision describes the sort of place that the plan area should be by 2035. The overarching principle supporting the Local Plan Review is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. It is the intention of the Council to enable the delivery of infrastructure, jobs, accessible local services and housing for future generations while supporting the historic and natural environment.

3.2 The location, type and size of new development provided for will have taken account of local needs, demography, transport and the level of services available to settlements, taking into account the Local Plan Review's settlement hierarchy.

The Vision is that by 2035, the plan area will be a place where people can:

  • Afford good quality dwellings to suit their incomes, needs, lifestyles and stage of life;
  • Find a range of jobs that match different skills and pay levels and meet their aspirations for employment;
  • Use their entrepreneurial flair to start and grow creative, innovative and competitive businesses;
  • Follow a socially responsible and more environmentally friendly way of life, in the knowledge that the natural environment and biodiversity of the area is being conserved, managed and enhanced ;
  • Pursue a healthy lifestyle and benefit from a sense of well-being supported by good access to education, health, leisure, open space and nature, sports and other essential facilities;
  • Enjoy a vibrant historic city, thriving towns and villages and areas of attractive, accessible and unspoilt harbours, coast and countryside;
  • Have a quality of life that is enriched through opportunities to enjoy our local culture, arts and a conserved and enhanced heritage;
  • Live in sustainable neighbourhoods supported by necessary infrastructure and facilities;
  • Feel safe and secure;
  • Move around safely and conveniently with opportunities to choose alternatives to car travel;
  • Take advantage of new communication and information technologies; and
  • Feel a sense of community, and empowered to help shape its future.

The East-West Corridor

3.3 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.

3.4 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, western and southern sides of Chichester, along with the regeneration of 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.

3.5 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.

3.6 Strategic development to the east, west and south 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.

3.7 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.

3.8 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 which will further enhance local facilities and offer opportunities to reinforce and supplement existing public transport, including bus routes.

3.9 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.

3.10 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

3.11 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. The provision of new dwellings and workplaces will help make the area more self-contained and reduce the area's dependence on Chichester City. In recognition of the semi-rural nature of some settlements and the proximity to internationally important wildlife habitats such as Pagham Harbour and Medmerry Realignment, a selective and sensitive approach to development will be taken.

3.12 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 Realignment and Pagham Harbour will serve to extend the tourism season.

3.13 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

3.14 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.

3.15 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.

3.16 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

3.17 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

3.18 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.

(33) The Local Plan Strategic Objectives

3.19 The aim of the Local Plan Review is to address the challenges and opportunities facing the plan area as set out in Chapter 2 to deliver the spatial vision for the plan area by 2035. The Plan Review also contributes to the delivery of the Vision, Objectives and Spatial Priorities for the wider Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Area (currently set out in Local Strategic Statement 2). In order to achieve this, a number of objectives have been identified. These also take account of the Sustainable Community Strategy, key issues arising from the evidence base and stakeholder involvement.

The Objectives of the Chichester Local Plan to be achieved by 2035 are:


  • Promote economic development to maintain quality of life and competitiveness;
  • Develop a dynamic, diverse and knowledge based economy that excels in innovation;
  • Develop and maintain a skilled workforce to support long-term competitiveness;
  • Develop Chichester City's role as a vibrant and sustainable city with a good range of business, leisure and retail types based on the aims of the Chichester Vision;
  • In smaller centres, ensure availability of a good range of business and retail types, to serve the local community;
  • Enable viability of the rural economy with enhanced diversity of employment opportunities;
  • Promote the plan area as a centre for creative and innovative industries, building on our rich arts and heritage base.

Housing and Neighbourhoods

  • Increase housing supply, making provision for new dwellings of the right quality, location, type, size and tenure; including specialist housing for older people;
  • Ensure that new dwellings can be easily adapted to meet the needs of wheelchair users and elderly people.
  • Increase availability of affordable housing;
  • Support neighbourhoods to be safe, clean, build and maintain community spirit and help shape the area in which they live;
  • Promote the development of mixed, balanced and well integrated communities;
  • Maintain low levels of crime and disorder, improve community safety and work to reduce anti-social behaviour;


  • Manage a changing environment;
  • Protect and enhance wildlife, to prevent biodiversity loss and habitat fragmentation;
  • Reduce pollution and improve air quality;
  • Minimise the net increase in greenhouse emissions by maximising use of renewable and low carbon energy sources;
  • Maximise efficient use of natural resources;
  • Conserve and enhance landscape and heritage.

Health and Well-Being

  • Encourage healthy and active lifestyles for all, developing accessible health and leisure facilities and linked green spaces;
  • Enriched and empowered communities to celebrate the richness of their heritage, the arts and environment;
  • Enable the older population to lead healthy, active and independent lifestyles;
  • Develop safe and secure living and working environments.

Strategic Infrastructure

  • Highway improvements to mitigate congestion, especially on the A27;
  • Achieve a sustainable and integrated transport system through improved cycling networks and links to public transport;
  • Reduce the impact of traffic on both communities and the environment through traffic calming and appropriate parking provision;
  • Encourage improved access to high speed broadband and new information; and communications technologies.

Wastewater Treatment and Water Supply

  • Improve water efficiency, conservation and storage capacity;
  • Ensure good wastewater pipework and sufficient sewage capacity is available, balanced with the need to protect internationally designated habitats.

Water Resource and Flood Risk Management

  • Ensure that water resources are safeguarded;
  • Support effective management of local flood risk;
  • Minimise flood risk for new and existing development through promotion of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
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