The Friends of Centurion Way have said they are ‘pleased’ with the outcome of a meeting with district councillors yesterday which saw them raise hopes and concerns about the ‘huge asset’.
Campaigners met Chichester District Council’s chief executive, head of planning and the senior environmental protection officer at the meeting which was arranged following the delivery of a dossier produced by Friends relating to White House Farm and the new Southern Access Road.
In a statement, the campaigners said they were ‘keen to make clear that they do not object to the development nor the relief road, but are holding out for the best possible outcome for all the many users of the path’.
Campaigners are concerned that the new road will lead to a downgrading of the path and worse conditions for people who walk and cycle. They were joined by John Grimshaw, the original designer of the path and founder of Sustrans, who visited the path for a second time to support them in their fight to improve the path.
Despite stating they couldn’t comment on specifices, as no planning application has been presented for the road, the council offered the group the chance for another meeting with one of the officers so that the long list of concerns the group have can be properly looked at.
Sarah Sharp said: “We are pleased that we will be having this opportunity to put our concerns forward. We will also be seeking a meeting with Vectos, the consultants who drew up the draft plans. We know what good design could look like. We are hugely privileged to have the support and advice of John Grimshaw, one of the leading cycle infrastructure designers in the country.
“We need this development to work for the future residents and for Chichester as a whole.
“We hope to be working with John to put together our own designs for the beginning part of Westgate.
“With John’s help we can provide excellent design that puts people on bikes and foot first. We don’t want the path to lose its rural and linear feel. We don’t want the path to become a white line painted alongside a busy road. We know what great design could look like and Chichester should hold out for the best.”
She added: “We need to make the most of this tremendous opportunity for CDC and all the Councillors to champion the path, support the community in its fight for the preservation and enhancement of this huge asset we all treasure and enjoy.”