Chichester Community Conference: Planning, Infrastructure and Environment
Follow up questions/from the live chat - some answers are still pending...
- Why has CDC not produced a 5 year plan?
- Is CDC supportive of community land trusts?
Yes, definitely. Support for community led housing initiatives (including Community Land Trusts) is one of the key strategic objectives within the Council’s 5 year Housing Strategy. Chichester is one of very few local authorities to employ a dedicated lead for Community Led Housing and has successfully attracted a significant amount of government funding to support this. The first new homes delivered as part of this were let in early 2020; further schemes being developed by Community Led organisations in both Westbourne and Midhurst are also in the pipeline.
- What are the figures for those waiting for housing in the Chichester District and how long these people have been on a waiting list?
There are 1700 households on Chichester’s Housing Register. 774 of these are currently in need in so far as their existing accommodation is inadequate for their needs in terms of size or type or they are at risk of homelessness. The length of time applicants have been on the Register varies enormously, some applicants remain on the Register for many years but as this often reflects very specific needs or aspirations this isn’t very meaningful in terms of understanding the overall picture of housing need in the District.
- Why don’t CDC take over the building of social housing?
Like many local authorities Chichester District Council opted to transfer its Council Housing stock to an independent Registered Provider (Housing Association), the transfer took place in 2001. There were many reasons for the transfer but uppermost amongst these was the opportunity for an independent Registered Provider to attract private finance to modernise and improve the stock as well as to develop new homes. The Council is now working with a range of different Registered Providers, including the Hyde Group who now own the former Council housing stock, last year nearly 200 new affordable homes were provided this way. There are circumstances in which we will undertake development directly ourselves; for example we are building 17 homes for use as temporary accommodation at Freeland Close, but in the main it makes sense to work with partners who are able to bring additional funding, expertise and capacity into the development of the new homes we need to provide.
- How many homeless people are there in Chichester?
- How many local people do not currently have a home or are in temporary accommodation?
It depends on how one defines ‘homelessness’. At present there are:
- 3 single adults sleeping rough because they are homeless
- 53 further households who are placed in temporary accommodation because they are homeless, this includes households whom the Council has placed into temporary accommodation as well as others accommodated in Stonepillow’s hostel.
- There is a much larger number of households who ‘do not have a home’ in so far as they are either sofa surfing or staying in accommodation with very little or no security. Since definitions of this kind of ‘hidden homelessness’ vary so much it is difficult to put a meaningful estimate on this figure.
- With over 70% of West Sussex being in protected areas, why are the housing targets based on the whole county not the actual areas where CDC are left to build?
- Do you support the destroying of productive agricultural fields in and around Chichester for the purposes of building housing estates?
- In 2019 CDC declared a Climate Emergency. Here in Sussex, we are not behaving as though we are in an emergency! I see little coverage of our 'emergency' on local television or media. How do your panellists think that they can quickly create a public call to action; or do they have a better plan to tackle the emergency? Does the Environment Agency have programmes for tackling climate change and biodiversity loss; or as usual, are they severely under-resourced?"
- Why is the Council so determined to squeeze every last vestige of green space out of the city of Chichester and give it to housing development?
- Due to the unrelenting pressure for increased development around Chichester and the surrounding area communities are and will be facing major issues involving the coalescence of individual communities and the subsequent lack of infrastructure to support the growth, we can't keep bolting on additional housing developments, now is the time to ensure that the Southdowns National Park takes on more of the development pressure. Peter Evans The Chichester Society.
- What is being done to provide an integrated and comprehensive cycle network for Chichester residents? (Bishop Luffa School Pupils)
- Why does the proposed application for Earnley Concourse have zero affordable housing?
The Earnley Concourse application has used a vacant building credit for this site. This is national policy where a vacant building is bought back into any lawful use, or is demolished to be replaced by a new building, the developer can be offered a credit equivalent to the existing gross floorspace of the relevant vacant buildings when calculating the affordable housing contribution. Affordable housing contributions would be required for any increase in floorspace. The proposed development does not propose an increase in floorspace so no affordable housing contribution is required.
- Please could West Sussex County Council clarify why they were so quick to request the A286 South of Chichester be removed from the recommended list of roads proposed for Central Government Funding in the Major Roads Network in March 2018 - which ultimately denied the Chichester community potential vital funding for infrastructure improvement?
Major Road Network was created by DfT to facilitate upgrades to the most strategically important local roads to support the strategic role of the National Strategic Road Network (i.e. motorways and trunk roads). The A286 is not a strategic road and passes through a number of rural communities. The County Council’s strategy is to manage this as a local road and facilitate more use of active travel and buses rather than to upgrade it. The most significant challenge on the A286 is the junction with A27 which is for Highways England to resolve.
- Any plans for public transport in Rake?
There are no specific plans for public transport improvements in Rake but the County Council is considering a number of potential locations to pilot Dynamic Demand Responsive Transport (i.e. flexible timetable and routes) services which could potentially include Rake.
- Selsey Town Council undertook an independent traffic survey that did not match highways. We undertook it outside of the 'normal times' as well as in normal times. It showed the B2145 was at capacity
It is unclear how STC have calculated the capacity of the road and reached this conclusion. Capacity will vary along the route as links and junctions have different capacities which are typically lowest at junctions. The County Council has a permanent traffic monitoring point on B2145 at Sidlesham which indicates that the Annual Average Daily Traffic has fallen in each of the last four years that the site has recorded; 2016 (AADT 14,625), 2017 (AADT 14,560), 2018 (AADT 14,309) and 2019 (AADT 14,192). Clearly traffic flow will vary throughout the year. We are aware that at times traffic flow exceeds capacity, particularly at the A27/B2145 Whyke junction. The Chichester and Arun Local Plans include an improvement at the Whyke junction to mitigate the impacts of development that is expected to be delivered once developments come forward and their associated contributions are paid to Highways England.
- Planning and development in the peninsula is very complex simply because of its geographical nature. The only main road coming into the Peninsula is the A286.
- What previous surveys have been done by the Highways Agency to monitor the rate of flow of traffic in and out of the Peninsula at key times such as rush hour and when there is holiday traffic
There are two permanent WSCC traffic monitoring sites on the A286 Birdham Road (A286 BIRDHAM, N. OF MANHOOD END FARM O/S NURSERIES and A286 CHICHESTER, STOCKBRIDGE, BIRDHAM RD O/S 53). These sites show that traffic levels vary through the year and the road is busiest in the summer months.
- If planning for the full 1500 houses is granted, what is the Highways estimation of the number of additional cars coming in and out of the Peninsula at key times?
A specific number has not been calculated and will depend on what assumptions are made about trip generation, mode choice, traffic destination and planned network changes through use of a traffic model. This has not been calculated but Chichester District Council are currently using the Chichester Area Transport Model to update a strategic transport study for the area as part of the Chichester Local Plan Review. This will assess the impacts of proposed development on the transport system and if necessary identify mitigation to address any severe impacts that will need to be delivered as development comes forward.
- How will the Highways Agency ensure the maintenance of this flow of traffic with potentially a huge rise in the number of cars entering and leaving the peninsula as a result of additional housing?
Chichester District Council are responsible for identifying the infrastructure needed to address any severe impacts that will need to be delivered as development comes forward.
- What plans are in place to avoid potentially permanent bottlenecks caused by current variable speed limits and additional ones caused by new pedestrian crossings linked to these developments?
As the impact of new crossing facilities and speed limits are localised, these matters will be addressed at the planning application stage. Planning applications will be accompanied by Transport Statements or Assessments identifying impacts on the highway network and any mitigation measures required to avoid severe impacts
- In relation to these potential issues, how will the Highway agency ensure the maintenance of vehicle access for emergency services into the peninsula?
Emergency services are typically consulted through the statutory planning process so have the opportunity to input any concerns so they are taken into account in decision-making.
Both CDC and WSCC
- I would like to draw people’s attention to an infrastructure issue concerning cyclists in Parklands. ChiCyclehttp://chicycle.co.uk/ is concerned about plans, as part of the Whitehouse Farm development, to relocate cyclists from Westgate and Sherbourne roads onto unsuitable pavements around the mini roundabout junction. It believes this will contravene the Equality Act 2010 as vulnerable pedestrians will be forced into direct conflict with significant flows of cyclists. Please see the attached document for more details of our concerns.
WSCC: WSCC officers are aware of ChiCycle’s concerns in relation to some of the highway infrastructure improvements that are required as a result of the planning permission for the Whitehouse Farm development. The highway works that are required to be delivered by the developers (Linden & Miller Homes) have had a substantial amount of engagement with local interested groups, including relevant local residents associations, Friends of Centurion Way, and Bishop Luffa School. Due consideration has been given in the design of the highway works to all road users, including those that are more vulnerable, to ensure that the specific scheme is appropriate for all, irrespective of their level of mobility. A Stage 1 Road Safety Audit (RSA) has been undertaken at the planning stage and further RSAs will be undertaken at subsequent stages (Stage 2 Detailed Design and Stage 3 Scheme Completion) and any recommendations acted upon as necessary. Delivery of the improvements will include all necessary signing, lining, and tactile paving to ensure the safety of all road users.
- Question: After unsuccessfully introducing the ill-thought-out and controversial Cycle scheme in Chichester city centre last year, what plans are there to combat the rising vehicle emissions and encourage Young Professionals to live and work in the Chichester district.
WSCC: Various sustainable transport measures have been identified to support delivery of the Local Plan including new cycle facilities and bus service enhancements. These measures will either be delivered directly by the developers or by WSCC using developer contributions plus funding from central Government where necessary.
- Why has Southern Water not yet developed a resilience plan for their coast wastewater treatment works not ahead of the target number of new homes we are being expected to take?
Often our sewer network planning starts when planning applications are approved which then only gives a relatively short timeframe to understand the impact and to design and build the improved infrastructure to accommodate the additional flow. We start funding improvements when we have certainty that those will happen – we work with growth projections and we work closely with the local authorities to understand the development plans and ensure that we can provide the service we are required to by law. As a water company, we cannot refuse new connections (Section 94 of the water act).
There are two separate mechanisms for planning and funding new wastewater infrastructure for growth which work on two different timescales.
- A) Strategic infrastructure: serves the wider community and incorporates Wastewater Treatment Works (WTWs), strategic pumping stations and trunk sewers. This is seen as an improvement in the service for all and it is funded for by all the customers of the SWS area. We use the local plans to identify when we need to invest and we plan investment through our five yearly cycle. We have five yearly plans to ensure that the resilience of the service is being managed proactively.
- B) Local infrastructure: Required to serve individual development and dependent upon the size of the development it is funded by developers through the New Infrastructure charge. We commit to develop within a shorter timescale and in some cases we only have 21 days notice of a new connection. This is why we work closely with local authorities on their plans.
In a nutshell, strategic infrastructure takes 5+ years to plan and deliver, whilst local infrastructure generally takes up to 2 years to deliver, from the date of the granting of consent.
- How many new homeowners in CDC have their sewage removed by tanker?
There are 3 properties which used to be connected to Chichester WTW which currently have their waste tankered away. Historic modifications to the works inlet saw them being disconnected and their combined flow was held in a tank within the site compound which was managed by tankers. Work is underway to install a pump system which will allow the flows to be reconnected to the new works inlet and do away with the need for tanker intervention. At times, Southern Water also uses tankers to manage flows during storm events when rainwater enters the sewers. This is to mitigate the risk of flooding to homes and businesses whilst we are working with stakeholders to find a more permanent solution to remove surface water from the sewers.
- Is Southern Water looking at infiltration in Parklands (west Chichester suburb)?
Yes, Parklands is covered by the infiltration study
- Could Nicola advise us how Arundel Worthing and Hove will affect Chichester A27?
- The improvement schemes on the A27 at Arundel and the A27 at Worthing & Lancing will reduce congestion and improve journey times at these locations. Both schemes are planned to commence within the current roads period (2020-2025).
- A scheme to improve the A27 at Chichester has been included for development within the current roads period (2020-2025). There is no guarantee that the scheme will be included for delivery in the next roads period (2025 – 2030).
- Each scheme has been promoted on its own merits to improve the performance of the road network at those specific locations. Although there is no direct link between the schemes in terms of impact, the improvements will enhance end to end journeys along the A27 corridor.