Axe taken to Chichester green infrastructure appendix

MAJOR concern was raised at the prospect of an appendix concerning green infrastructure being axed from Chichester District Council’s local plan.

Residents and councillors have all expressed concern at the removal, which has been advised by the inspector and approved by councillors at a meeting on Monday (November 24).

Clare Apel, the only councillor to vote against accepting the changes to the plan, said the council had previously felt the appendix contained several key points.

“This council obviously thought it was important or it would not have passed the local plan in the first place.

“Residents have also expressed grave concerns over the removing of the appendix as it protects and gives essential policy details on green infrastructure matters.”

She wanted assurance the policies within it would still be incorporated in the plan, even if it was scrapped.

In response, district council leader Heather Caird said: We’re in a position where the inspector has made her position clear.

“We’re effectively at her mercy. If that’s what she’s asking us to do to make this plan sound, we have to make a decision about if this is the way we want to go or not.

“We have to respect her wishes, but we don’t want to lose the detail of this policy or this piece of legislation by taking it out altogether.

“The best possible compromise that we can come up with currently is the one that’s been described here.”

The appendix referred to landscape and ecology and also tried to support transport by ‘non-motorised forms’.

The council hopes the information within the policy can be included as planning guidance in the final plan.

See Thursday’s Observer (November 27) for a full report of the meeting.