West of Chichester planning application 19/03146/REM for the erection of 154 residential dwellings raises local concern over walking and cycling provision.
Phase 3, Parcel E of this development, covered by this planning application, runs to the immediate Northwest of Centurion Way just South of where Centurion Way passes beneath Old Broyle Road (overview map shown below)
Centurion Way is a popular shared use path that forms part of National Cycle Network Route 88. Heading Northwards on Centurion Way from Old Broyle Road takes path users into our beautiful West Sussex Downland Countryside. Heading Southwards on the path is a convenient route into Chichester that is particularly convenient for commuting to Chichester Railway Station, Chichester College, Bishop Luffa School and the Shops and High St in the City.
Unfortunately there are appear to be no direct Cycling or Pedestrian links between Phase 3, Parcel E and this fantastic shared use Cycleway/Footpath. This is a tragically missed opportunity, particularly in light of the difficulties for cyclists and pedestrians in using Old Broyle Road and St Paul’s Road.
A segment from the indicative lighting plans show will be no permeability provided for pedestrians or cyclists into the existing community.
DfT provides design guidelines for residential developments in the Manual for Streets 2007 which gives the following advice. ( page 42)
4.2.5 Internal permeability is important but the area also needs to be properly connected with adjacent street networks. A development with poor links to the surrounding area creates an enclave which encourages movement to and from it by car rather than by other modes (Fig. 4.2).
The Chichester Cycle Forum members recommend that a “Cycle audit and review” should be conducted (or a walking and cycling audit and review) as outlined in section 1.7 of the DfT Cycle infrastructure design guidelines (LTN 2/08) (page 15). These DfT guidelines highlight that campaign groups “can be very helpful in providing specialist expertise” and the Chichester Cycle Forum members would be very happy to be involved.
ChiCycle recommend, to allow compliance with Manual for Streets 2007 section 4.2.5 (page 42), permeability for walking and cycling into the surrounding area can easily be achieved by making connections with Centurion Way which is itself well connected with adjacent streets.
The northern most connection with Centurion Way crosses a gradient but by curving the path it is easy to achieve a gentle change in level suitable for walking and cycling. Indicative plans are shown below and a more detailed view can be accessed on this link.
Document – SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT PARCEL P3.E – PART 1 OF 2 promises the development will provide “Series of connected paths and cycle links on and off site”. However current plans contain no off site connections with the surrounding community! ChiCycle recommend connections onto Centurion Way to allow residents of this parcel to have easy walking and cycling access with the surrounding area.
Document – SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT PARCEL P3.E – PART 2 OF 2 has a subsection BFL 12 – P3.E WEST OF CHICHESTER INTEGRATING INTO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD1. CONNECTIONS
ChiCycle do not consider the current plans adequately allow the scheme to integrate into its surroundings! The current plans do not reinforce existing connections or create new ones as promised.
ChiCycle currently witnesses that these plans have a total absence of walking and cycling opportunities to the immediate East – towards the city. The development is flanked by a dedicated walking and cycling route that has already excellent permeability with the existing community. Why are there no links provided? There are no significant gradient issues to contend with, the path runs mostly at a similar level as the proposed dwellings. As the spine road lacks a cycleway meeting DfT standards there are very few other opportunities for walking and cycling. Why is there a green light shown below in the BFL assessment? We would expect to see a red light here! Please let’s improve the situation by including a couple of short access-ways.
These concerns have been raised several times by the community with Linden Miller homes at consultation meetings. Why have these very obvious opportunities for permeability for walking and cycling been missed?