Alternatives to Stockbridge link road to be explored

Concerns have been raised about the proposed development's possible impact on views of the city from the surrounding area
Concerns have been raised about the proposed development's possible impact on views of the city from the surrounding area

Alternatives to a Stockbridge link road are set to be explored as part of plans for development south west of Chichester.

West Sussex County Council is promoting the site in the Apuldram and Donnington parishes for 33 hectares of employment land and at least 100 homes.

Policy AL6, proposed site allocation south west of Chichester

Policy AL6, proposed site allocation south west of Chichester

The proposals include a new link road connecting the A27 Fishbourne roundabout and the A286 Birdham Road.

The site (AL6) is part of Chichester District Council’s draft preferred approach as it looks to review its local plan.

A consultation was held on the document earlier this year and hundreds of objections to the site were received by the council.

Read more: New link road from A286 to the A27 ‘will destroy key habitat’

At a CDC meeting last week (Tuesday May 21) one resident described the proposed development as a ‘travesty’.

They highlighted the potential impact on the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, wildlife, flooding, views of the city, air, light and noise pollution.

In response Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning services, described how the council had a statutory duty to prepare a local plan to accommodate identified need for development.

She added: “The council recognises that difficult choices need to be made about which land to allocate for development and how to mitigate the impact of that development to take into account the need for infrastructure to protect the natural and built environment.”

The council would need to consider all representations on the preferred approach to determine the content of the next iteration of the plan before it goes out for further consultation and then to examination where the council’s planning policies will be scrutinised by a planning inspector.

She said the county council would have to provide evidence as to how the site could be developed in a way which addresses the constraints and concerns raised.

In the meantime the district council has asked transport consultants Peter Brett Associates to explore if there are any potential mitigation options for the site that do not include a Stockbridge link road.

Cllr Taylor added: “No final decisions have been made by the council regarding this site.”

The local plan review was due to come back to councillors in July but has been delayed due to the number of issues raised during the consultation and the need to undertake further studies.