Southern Gateway Forum held on Tuesday, 13th Minutes of the meeting of the
May 2008 at 2.00 p.m. in Committee Room 2, East Pallant House, Chichester.
Mr. A. Chaplain - WSCC
Mr. T. Dignum - Chichester Society
Mr. R. Keyworth – Southern Gateway Residents’ Association
Mr. J. Rankin - Chichester City Council
Mr. J. Ridd – CDC
Anne Scicluna - CDC
Mr. R. Travis - Chichester Ship Canal Trust
Ms. L. Creaye-Griffin - Group Manager, Rural Strategy – WSCC
Mr. S. Frost – WSCC
Mr. T. Bathmaker, Capital Projects Manager - WSCC
Mr. P. Harrison - Senior Estates Officer – CDC Mr. S. Howes – Deputy Chief Executive - CDC
Mr. K. Morgan - Assistant Director of Building and Environmental Management – CDC
Mrs. C. West – Assistant LDF Project Leader - CDC
Mrs. K. Jeram - Member Services Officer – CDC Mr. S. Kane – Head of Policy and Member Support
Mr. M. Cullen (Chairman) - CDC
Mr. M. Daws-Chew - WSCC
In the absence of the Chairman, Mr. Ridd took the Chair.
The Minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on 26th February 2008 was
agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record subject to the
amendment of Minute 23, final sentence to read “Mr. Travis confirmed that the
Chichester Canal Trust planned to remove some trees”.
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28. Presentation by Consultants Terra Firma on Their Thoughts so
Far and Preliminary Ideas on the Landscape Framework for the
The Forum received a presentation from Ms Butcher, Mr Mount and Ms Stevens
representatives from Terra Firma on their ideas so far on the landscape framework for the basin.
Ms Butcher reported that preliminary investigations and site analysis on the
landscape framework had started in February 2008. Discussions had taken place with the Chichester Ship Canal Trust, landowners and the Waterside Inn owners. A well attended and useful meeting had taken place with stakeholders on Tuesday, 22nd April 2008 with stakeholders. From the brain storming session on the strategy the Canal basin’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
and constraints had been identified. A diagrammatic analysis of the issues identified the sorting office and area of unused grass; Basin Road being wide and well used; anti social behaviour; public access to the east side of the basin leading to a dead end; the area where litter collected in the basin; some trees being of poor quality; the Osborne residential development when built will shade part of the basin; the Waterside Inn public house was being upgraded; conflicting access of cyclists; pedestrians and the Canal Trust and the unobvious main entrance.
The proposals in the short term strategy would address the deadline to spend the allocated budget within the next twelve months; address the links to the City centre; would improve the west side of the canal; draw visitors further around the basin; address the façade of the Post Office building; move parking spaces in Basin Road, possibly to the north side of the road so views of the canal were not hidden; move the slipway to the north to remove the need for cars on the basin and look a the viability of a pontoon; walkway and reed bed on the east side. The proposals in the long term strategy included replacing the Post Office site with mixed use development including residential; street café culture and small shops to add vibrancy to the area; Basin Road would become
pedestrianised with a road link behind the site and a bridge that could also be an art feature.
The vision set out Terra Firma’s initial ideas and focused on water into the City,
a sense of place, design approach and materials.
Ms. Stevens reported that the Public Arts Strategy sought to find the most
appropriate public art in a rural context. A stand alone sculpture would draw people to the basin. It should be sympathetic to the basin and could refer to its history by including a mosaic as well as references to Gandhi and Turner. Consideration should be given to who would be involved in the process and whether it should be a selection committee to include the Chichester Canal Trust, Osborne’s, Punch House Taverns, Residents Association and an artist. The community could also be involved with schools and youth groups choosing temporary pieces of art. The public art allocation was for ?25,000, although it may be possible to allocate some of the landscaping allocation towards bespoke unique pieces of seating and lighting. Consideration should be given to whether
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a curator/project manager or officers at Chichester District Council/West Sussex County Council would run the project. The design initiative would be prepared in consultation with Osbournes. Anne Scicluna said that mosaic art would fit in well as Chichester was twinned with Ravenna. Following the presentation the Forum adjourned to look at the display boards.
The Forum asked questions and gave their initial thoughts on Terra Firma’s proposals.
Mr. Howes asked what could be delivered for ?250,000 in the short term. He
advised that if Royal Mail did relocate it would run into millions of pounds to remove the contamination on the land and as a result the developer would look to build a more intensive development. Ms Butcher advised that the money would not go far especially if spent on the area outside the Waterside Inn public house, which she felt was a priority area. The focus would need to be on the southern end of the canal and the north west area. Mr. Howes reported that the deadline for the allocation of the first phase of Section 106 agreement money was next year but it may be possible to extend the agreement. Terra Firma advised that it was a question of whether to change the north side of the basin which was more of an eyesore by moving parking to the opposite side of the road, the addition of a boardwalk, green living walls and planting to improve and make an impact of which some would be sacrificed if the Post Office site was redeveloped whereas improvements to the Hickey building and the surrounding area would be permanent. Ms Butcher confirmed that with regard to the traffic issues Terra Firma had contacted West Sussex County Council Highways but had not received a response. Mr. Morgan undertook to chase for a response.
Initial comments on the proposals included the need to strike a balance between
the rural nature of the canal basin and the city centre; adequate infrastructure to cope with an increase in footfall; that high density development at the Post Office site would be worthwhile to enhance the area; and the emphasis on public art was welcomed.
Mr Morgan advised that mixed development would only work to the north of the
site, whilst signage, seating and an integrated feature would work well in the other areas. The Council was currently working on a monolith signage scheme, which could include signs to the canal basin. Other initiatives might include a sculpture trail. In response to a question regarding previous proposals for a bridge over the basin, which some members of the Forum supported, Mrs Creaye-Griffin referred to the concerns of the County Council about future liablity and maintenance issues. Ms Butcher suggested that feasibility study could be carried before making a decision and Mr Morgan advised that reference should be made to the possibility of a bridge in the proposals.
Mr Morgan informed the Forum that they should give Terra Firma clear guidance
on the direction they should be heading and what their thoughts on the proposals. It was agreed that copies of the information presented today would be sent to the Forum for further consideration of the proposals. Responses thshould be sent to Mr Morgan or Mrs Creaye-Griffin by 30 May 2008 to enable a
response to be coordinated. Robyn advised that following receipt of the
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response amended proposals would be available mid July 2008. Mr Morgan
confirmed that a press release would be prepared in due course to raise
awareness of the proposals.
29. Update on the Southern Gateway Supplementary Planning
Mrs. West reported that consultation on the Southern Gateway SPD had taken
place from 7th March to 11th April 2008. Thirty two responses had been
received. The main issues raised were traffic, access, and included comments
on the route from the City centre to the Southern Gateway, the Avenue de
Chartres car park, parking and access to public transport, the Highway Agency’s
A27 improvement strategy and how it would fit in with the Southern Gateway.
Support was given to public art, ecological enhancements, provision of a hotel
and mixed use for the area. The responses received were available to view in
the Contact Centre.
30. Update on the Development of Sites
Mr. Howes updated the Forum on the latest position regarding the development
Osbournes – Commencement of the residential development had been delayed
due to the need for a legal agreement between Osbournes and the Electricity
Board who had part ownership of the site.
Post Office Site – There had not been any further progress with the preferred
developer. The issue of the relocation of the sorting office and the expense of
the removal of the contamination would need to be considered.
Railway Station – The first phase to improve the entrance to the railway station
and cycle racks was continuing. It would be sometime before phase two to
include a link road to Avenue de Chartres would commence.
31. Any Other Business
Mr. Morgan advised that the Council had been approached to nominate a
Member, which would be Mr. J.L. Cherry, to the Chichester Ship Canal
32 Date of the Next Meeting
(The meeting ended at 3.50 p.m.)
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