Decision details

Chichester Local Plan Regulation 19 (Publication of a Local Plan) Consultation

Decision Maker: Planning Policy Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Chichester District Council (CDC) are preparing their Local Plan for the period 2021 to 2039 (18 years) which has now achieved Regulation 19 stage (Publication of a Local Plan) under the ‘Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012’. This involves a public consultation on the Publication Local Plan (R19 PLP) prior to submitting the plan to the secretary of state for examination. This stage invites representations that relate to only to legal and ‘soundness’ issues with the R19 PLP. The R19 PLP sets out a constrained strategy to deliver a level of housing growth that is less than the identified local need for the planning authority area - based on the Government’s Standard Housing Methodology (SHM). The reason for this constrained approach is because the district is unable to support or deliver the necessary enabling and mitigation infrastructure to support this level of growth - particularly the capacity of the A27 and Waste Water treatment capacity.


Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report which sought the Committee’s agreement that representations be made (via delegated authority for Officer representations) to Chichester District Council’s Regulation 19 (Publication of a Local Plan) consultation. This was because Planning Policy Committee would next meet in June 2023 beyond the 6-week consultation period which ran from 3 February to 17 March 2023.


The Planning Policy Team Leader outlined the detail of the report and explained that the Plan was based around an ‘infrastructure constrained’ development strategy predicated on improvements to the A27 (principally the Fishbourne and Bognor Road roundabouts) and the cost viability of development to fund it. Both the Planning Policy Team Leader and the Group Head of Planning stressed that answers and reassurances to questions raised by Arun Officers have not been provided by Chichester District Council in advance of publishing its proposed Local Plan and the ‘infrastructure constrained’ approach taken by Chichester must not prejudice or impact Arun’s existing Local Plan or future plan making; for example, the current adopted Local Plan included West of Bersted, BEW and Pagham which were contributing towards cross boundary infrastructure in Chichester (e.g. A27 Bognor Roundabout and Whyke Road junctions) as well as reciprocal contributions from Chichester District Council towards mitigation in Arun on the A259. The latter were now not included in Chichester’s Regulation 19 Publication plan but the evidence acknowledged that these were needed. The assumption that these were just Arun schemes needed clarification. Furthermore, capacity constraints on the A27 from Chichester’s approach might increase the cost burden on any future development in Arun to build capacity on the A27.


Members then took part in a full debate on the item where concerns over Chichester’s Local Plan were raised. Specific points made included:

·       Section 106 contributions claimed by National Highways from developments in Arun having historically gone towards improvements in the Chichester District

·       clarity over how much funding had already been provided and was still to be collected for cross boundary projects

·       a perceived infrastructure deficit between the Districts

·       the process by which Arun Members sign off the consultation response following the receipt of a draft Statement of Common Ground from Chichester District Council

·       what Arun was hoping to achieve from this process

·       what would happen to already allocated contributions from developments in Arun if the improvement works did not go ahead in the Chichester District under the proposed ‘infrastructure constrained’ development strategy

·       the impact on strategic sites and their mitigations in Arun if previously proposed improvement works did not go ahead

·       the need for improvements to the A259, and if these were not forthcoming and instead focused on the A27 whether any outcomes would be worth the effort


Noting the advice given by the Monitoring Officer in the Officer report, Councillor Chapman suggested the addition of a third recommendation that the outcome of the duty to cooperate discussions be reported to the June Planning Policy Committee meeting. All three recommendations were then proposed by Councillor Chapman and seconded by Councillor Edwards.


The Committee




1.    Due to the significant level of concerns that remained outstanding, Officers and the Group Head of Planning in consultation with the Chair of Planning Policy Committee submit necessary ‘soundness’ representations on Chichester’s Regulation 19 Publication Local Plan as identified in the conclusions to the Officer report;


2.    These ‘soundness’ representations be withdrawn should continued engagement with Chichester under the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ resolve these concerns;


3.    The outcome of the duty to cooperate discussions be reported to the June Planning Policy Committee meeting.

Report author: Kevin Owen

Publication date: 24/02/2023

Date of decision: 21/02/2023

Decided at meeting: 21/02/2023 - Planning Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: