Chichester Ship Canal Trust plans to join canal to sea

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EXCITING new plans to re-connect Chichester Ship Canal with the sea – which would see boats from all over the world come into the city – have been revealed.

The Chichester Ship Canal Trust exclusively revealed its plans to the Observer, which also include transforming the canal basin area by building an educational hub with offices and opening a brand-new shop.

The trust wants to build a moving bridge at Donnington and create a lock near the Witterings, which will allow boats to enter the canal.

No-one is more excited about the plans to open up the canal than chairwoman Linda Wilkinson.

She said: “It’s something different and seems quite sensible. The bridge would only take up the space that is already there. I have been with the trust for 30 odd years and it’s getting quite exciting now.

“It’s all happening at the same time. We’ll have the new shop and the other building and bridge. It would be nice to make a start with the bridge this year – even if it’s on December 31. I think it will be a brilliant.”

She added: “It would bring new life into Chichester.”

Trustee and district councillor John Cherry said he is very excited to see Chichester being re-connected with the sea.

He said: “I just think there is something there that you can’t put in words. You just know there are old passages that will be re-opened and it will change the view of Chichester itself.

Speaking of the transformation of the basin, he added: “I think it will look extremely nice and what it’s doing hopefully is lifting the whole of that part of Chichester. It has been an orphan for a long time. It should make that attractive. We should have boats coming in from all around the UK and abroad.”

Mrs Wilkinson did admit that the plans for opening up the canal were currently ‘up in the air’ and there would be some obstacles in the way to making it a reality.