Protecting the harbour

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CHICHESTER Harbour Conservancy wishes to thank the thousands of Observer readers who took part and made their voices heard in the online vote about the dangers to Chichester Harbour from the government proposals for the National Policy Planning Framework.

We are heartened to know so many people feel the matter is important enough to vote with us on this matter.

We were also interested to hear from those who took the time to write to us with their disagreements.

I hope we have been able to clarify for those readers, our position and the dangers as we see them for the harbour.

We wish to highlight what we perceive as the ‘next steps’ in the process which will demand each and every individual’s interest and enthusiasm to make the process work effectively for Chichester Harbour in short- and long-term.

In the coming year, Chichester District will start to produce a ‘Local Development Framework’ which will set the planning policy for the district. It will also be the first step in identifying numbers and areas for housing development.

We will continue to work closely with them to try to ensure developments at a local level are not ‘free for all’ and driven by careful considerations for the natural beauty of the area, that wildlife gets the protection it deserves and the harbour continues to support thriving and sustainable communities and businesses.

The government is also proposing planning be taken back into the hands of local communities and wish to see Neighbourhood Plans developed; this step is an opportunity to influence at the most local of levels. Chichester Harbour Conservancy is here to advise and assist wherever possible in the process to achieve the protection and long-term viability of this very special and unique area.

To keep in touch and support the work of the Conservancy, sign up to our eNewsletter at www.conservancy.co.uk and consider joining the Friends of Chichester Harbour www.friendsch.org.

Siún Cranny

Director, Chichester Harbour Conservancy