Chichester Growth Deal

This programme will unlock opportunities for new homes and employment in Chichester.

1 Overview

Chichester city presents a significant growth opportunity for regeneration. The Chichester Growth Deal was signed in 2018 and identified development and growth opportunities and ensured West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and Chichester District Council (CDC) priorities are delivered in a cohesive and holistic way, maximising economic growth outcomes.

WSCC and CDC entered a strategic partnership through the Chichester Place Plan and the subsequent Chichester Growth Deal to deliver sustainable growth and provide opportunities for new homes, new commercial and retail space within the city, preserving existing jobs and creating new high value employment opportunities.

The deal focuses on progressing specific projects through effective partnerships with a range of stakeholders to support economic growth opportunities that are aligned with the delivery of the projects and priorities contained within the Chichester Vision that will support and promote investment within the city.

As the economy rebuilds following the impact of Covid-19, climate change pressures, post Brexit trading relationships and inflationary pressures, we need to consider the changing needs of society. This offers new opportunities for service collaboration across public sector partners and the potential for future models of service delivery, to make better use of digital technology and flexible working across sectors.

Post Covid-19, there will be more focus on working more efficiently where resources are scarce. Working in partnership will lead to greater opportunities for collaboration through shared spaces, joined up services and released surplus land and assets, which in turn will promote lower carbon solutions and new economic activity.

A refreshed growth deal that prioritises investment in growth activities based on shared principles is being developed by CDC and WSCC. The refreshed deal will encourage sustainable growth through the coordination of effort and resource and seek the optimum economic outcomes for the residents of Chichester.

2 Growth priorities

Delivering the Chichester Vision

The Chichester Vision supports wider economic growth strategies for the city through a range of linked projects that promote inward investment and stimulate economic growth by making the most of the its heritage and culture, while also adapting to meet the evolving needs of residents, workers, visitors and students.

The involvement of West Sussex County Council (WSCC) within the Chichester Vision is diverse, with a key focus on projects that can provide improved transport connectivity and public realm promoting a high quality, accessible centre delivering economic growth including the Southern Gateway, Northern Gateway and other city centre improvements.

Public Realm

To support the principles and aims of the Chichester Vision, we will develop a public realm approach to identify priority projects to be delivered that maximise opportunities for funding and inward investment, working collaboratively with partners on delivering prioritised schemes. City centre transformation will meet the demands of existing and new residents, attracting investment that:

  • create quality landscapes at destination and arrival points
  • make great gateways with clear routes and desirable spaces
  • improve the safety of the public realm, to create inclusive and safe spaces
  • support sustainable travel, healthy and attractive environments
  • better connect sites and cultural heritage landmarks
  • support new and diverse economic uses of the public spaces in the city centre.

Connectivity and sustainable/active travel

The infrastructure being delivered through wider development in Chichester will be supported by additional city centre sustainable transport measures. These will complement existing services within the city centre to ensure key sites such as retail areas and public transport interchanges benefit from high quality access for non-car modes of travel.

WSCC are working in collaboration with transport providers and will enter an enhanced partnership with bus operators to support delivery of the WSCC Bus Service Improvement Plan.

WSCC will work in partnership with CDC and wider stakeholders to develop and deliver opportunities highlighted in the Chichester Local Cycling and Walking Improvement Plan, subject to prioritisation and successful funding bids to DfT’s Active Travel Fund.

West Sussex Gigabit fibre broadband

The County Council and district and borough councils, including CDC, are working together with central government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to build and facilitate ultrafast broadband infrastructure in West Sussex.

West Sussex Gigabit has now completed its works in Chichester and has delivered digitally connected public services to ensure the public sector meets the future need of public services and provides the infrastructure to support improved commercial and residential connectivity within the county.

The infrastructure connects key urban locations at buildings owned and operated by the public sector with the potential to cascade to other public services such as schools, NHS and emergency services and facilitate wider connectivity within West Sussex and its rural areas via the Gigabit Broadband voucher scheme.

3 One Public Estate priorities

The One Public Estate (OPE) programme engages with public sector services to find the most efficient approach by working more collaboratively. The Local Government Association website explains that OPE aims to ‘repurpose surplus public estate for housing, regeneration and other locally determined uses.’

Through the West Sussex OPE Board, public sector partners, including the NHS, Sussex Police, the Ministry of Justice and the Fire & Rescue Service, we will continue to identify potential sites and explore options. This partnership is currently working to identify solutions at several locations including:

Delivering growth at Southern Gateway

The Southern Gateway is led by Chichester District Council (CDC), who have secured £5m Local Government funding to support the delivery of the Southern Gateway, which comprises land parcels predominantly under the control of CDC and WSCC to be progressed in line with the development aspirations of the Southern Gateway Masterplan for a diverse and vibrant Southern Gateway in Chichester.

The Southern Gateway Masterplan was approved by CDC as supplementary planning guidance in 2017. The project offers a substantial mixed use regeneration opportunity in the heart of Chichester to transform an approximate 30 acre, largely brownfield area, into a lively and exciting new quarter of exceptional quality. The opportunity will contribute to delivery of the Chichester Vision themes of living, working and visiting and will provide:

  • up to 365 residential dwellings including affordable homes
  • 21,000sqm of commercial floorspace including leisure and retail
  • public realm and connectivity improvements
  • securing associated economic benefits to this part of the city.

The County Council are working in partnership with CDC to support the delivery and land assembly for the Southern Gateway and have been working to appoint a Development Partner to progress the planning and delivery of the largest regeneration project that the city has seen for decades.

The Southern Gateway Project is part of the One Public Estate (OPE) West Sussex programme, which seeks to secure effective and efficient use of public sector buildings.

Delivering growth at Northern Gateway

Located at the northern fringe of the city centre, the Northgate gyratory is a ring-road gyratory that encloses approximately 2 acres of land accommodating the West Sussex Fire & Rescue station, Metro House office accommodation and a collection of Grade II listed properties.

The Northern Gateway would see partners including the County Council and CDC work together to develop and implement proposals that support the efficient, effective, economical and sustainable development of the Northern Gateway site to maximise economic benefit and improve connectivity in this part of the city.

The Chichester Sustainable Transport Package and Chichester Vision Study have identified the opportunity for junction and highways improvements to the Northgate gyratory in the context of the Chichester Growth Deal and the Chichester Vision, with further work being undertaken to develop and test options.

The opportunity of the regeneration of the land, including opportunities for the Fire & Rescue station are also part of the One Public Estate (OPE) West Sussex programme.

The Tannery

The Tannery is surplus to requirements and can deliver homes in a city centre brownfield location. Following a successful Brownfield Land Release Fund bid to fund enabling works, WSCC has joined forces with a leading development and construction company in a long-term joint venture to develop the site.

WSCC and The Lovell Partnership will develop surplus County Council land to maximise financial and wider returns. This will enable the extra funds generated to be reinvested across West Sussex to support the strategic aims of WSCC.

Assets and employment spaces

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many organisations work in different ways with some benefits arising from new, flexible working arrangements. As such, there is an opportunity to explore the capacity of the public estate to facilitate growth, utilise assets for a broader range of uses than they have done traditionally and generate revenue and capital savings that could be reinvested into service delivery.

Using our assets more efficiently and effectively can help meet the Net Carbon Zero ambitions of local government. Reviewing council assets can help identify opportunities for co-location and improved public services in line with the objectives set out in the Governments’ One Public Estate initiative. The objectives of OPE are:

  • creating economic growth (new homes and jobs)
  • delivering more integrated, customer-focused services
  • generating efficiencies, through capital receipts and reduced running costs.
Last updated:
1 December 2023
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