The West of Chichester Development which will bring 1600 new homes that will be sited next door to Centurion Way.
The friends of Centurion Way have been following the planning procedure for these homes and wanted to make sure new residents have easy access onto Centurion Way
We have successfully negotiated with the CDC planning committee and developers so that there will be an access way where new residents can join the path. The approximate position of the new link is shown in the image below.
This connection should have minimum impact on the natural appearance of the path. However, we feel it will prove a handy link for many path users. It will join Centurion Way onto a quiet street which then links via a short shared walking/cycle-way to a new centre where shops will be located. Hopefully, it will soon be possible to head westwards on this link so anyone on Centurion way can make a short detour to get refreshments from the new shops opening in the heart of this new residential development.
In absence of an agreed transport infrastructure master-plan for Phase 2 West of Chichester Development, the developers wish to start construction of the Southern Access Road without knowing how it will connect to the existing city transport network!
Provision for local walking and cycling along this section of Southern Access Road, is of notably poor quality. This is likely to seriously impede the up take up of walking and cycling in the new housing development.
Details of planning for the sports area can be found on the following link.
Within this application under documents is a drawing (09 Oct 2019-Plan-Under Consideration-Measure document icon-MLR/E4517/01/006-INDICATIVE STREET LIGHTING LAYOUT (A1) showing street lighting detail on the following link.
It is my understanding that the White House Farm housing development failed to gain planning consent for the original Southern Access Road proposal who’s plans (22 Mar 2016-Application Form-Measure document icon-MASTERPLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURE APPENDICES/PLANS, page 28 of 32) can be viewed using the link to 14/04301/OUT below.
An image extracted from page 28 of 32 of this pdf file can be viewed below.
Phase 1 S106 Plans for the junction between Westgate and Sherbourne Road have already been agreed and closely match the designs shown in the drawing above.
Merging together drawings “19_02584_REM-INDICATIVE_STREET_LIGHTING_LAYOUT” & “14_04301_OUT-MASTERPLANNING_AND_INFRASTRUCTURE_APPENDICES_PLANS” gives the image below.
It is clear from overlaying the plans that the drawing “19/02584/REM | Application plans for a sports area” defines part of the Southern Access Road identically to the plans that previously failed to gain outline planning consent!
Local Residents are Frustrated by a Planning Process that has Failed to Adhere to Fundamental DfT National Design Guidelines
Fundamental guidelines set out by the Department of Transport are being completely ignored! It is unconventional to begin building mid sections of a spine road intended to connect a large development to a city without first obtaining agreement with local stakeholders about how the road will integrate with their community. People want to know how the new road will impact existing infrastructure such as popular national cycleways and footpaths.
There is significant stress and concern within the local community that this road will continue to be extended until it severs walking and cycling routes like Centurion Way, the National South Coast Cycle Route (ChEmRoute) and walking cycling provision between Chichester City and Tesco Supermarket.
The Friends of Centurion Way have now been campaigning for over 30 months in order to reduce the impact of the Southern Access Road on the existing walking and Cycling network. Our offers to engage the original architect of centurion way (John Grimshaw) have been ignored.
It does not seem reasonable to disguise planning for a segment of this Controversial Southern Access road within a planning application for sports fields. What is perhaps more surprising is that FoCW campaigners only discovered the existence of the proposed section of road from a drawing of proposed street lighting. The design for the Southern Access road is shown carrying only one pavement on its north western side. Cyclists travelling in both directions are expected to share a single pavement with all other non motorised road users. Lamp-posts will be set into the middle of the pavement which fails in almost every regard to meet Department for Transport minimum standards for a shared use path.
The DfT publication the Manual for Streets 2007 (page 31) explains the importance of developing a Detailed Transport Masterplan for larger developments at the early design stages.
3.6.25 Detailed masterplans are likely to be needed for schemes at the higher end of the scale in terms of size and complexity. For relatively simple proposals, a detailed scheme layout is all that is likely to be needed. Guidance on the masterplanning process is given in Creating Successful Masterplans: A Guide for Clients.
3.6.26 It is important when preparing a detailed masterplan, that all of the critical features which impact on the efficiency and quality of the development – and which cannot be changed once it is built – are carefully considered
S106 Plans for the junction between Westgate and Sherbourne Road also match the same plans that failed to gain outline planning consent! Redesign of this roundabout without proper consideration for it foreseeably being connected with the Phase 2 Souther Access Road is a fundamental infringement of DfT recommended design principles.
I have previously criticised these previously rejected Southern Access Road plans here, here, here and here because they are wholly inadequate for the local needs for pedestrians and cyclists.
Please write to Chichester District Planning authority to insist that the application plans for the sports area are not granted until there has been adequate consultancy with the local community and an agreement has been reached on master plan designs for a Spine Road that caters for local walking and cycling needs.
On New Years Day 2020, the Friends of Centurion Way met on the path to enjoy mince pies, sausage rolls and mulled wine. This was a celebration of the start of a new decade. We hope for a future where local people can conveniently and easily walk or cycle between Chichester city centre and Centurion Way. Dogs of all shapes and sizes enjoyed the dog treats on offer and a couple of crafty canines snaffled mince pies and sausage rolls too.
Come walk your dog on New Years Day to help save Centurion Way!
Join the Friends of Centurion Way who will have some dog treats, mince pies and warm drinks on the path (including mulled wine). We will meet at the railway footbridge by Bishop Luffa school on New Years Day 12:30-13:30pm. We hope to take a photograph of the many dog walkers who wish to preserve the existing route of Centurion Way. We want to write a story to the local press after the event so please share your feelings with us about why this path is important to you. We’re sure your dog loves Centurion Way every bit as much as you do, so feel free to explain your pets relationship with the path.
If you have a group of dog owning friends , why not meet up at the Hunters Race Amphitheatre and walk down to the railway footbridge at the Southern end of the path for a glass of mulled wine.
We hope you can join us on New Years Day,
Mark Record (on behalf of the Friends on Centurion Way)
If you wish to advertise the event a poster is available in PDF format here there is also an A5 leaflet PDF. These can be printed two at a time onto A4 and then cut in half to make A5 leaflets.
Philip has written a report of the Centurion Way Phase 2 Extension – linking West Dean to the South Downs Way near Cocking received Planning Permission at The South Downs National Park Planning Committee on the 10th October.
It was touch and go whether Permission would be Granted with several Members initially unable to support through having concerns about the 1.5 m wide length of footpath along the busy A286 at West Dean being unsuitable and dangerous. Other concerns included mobility impaired access (the West Dean steps and steep gradients on the new section) and impact on ancient woodland.
There was a long discussion culminating in Permission Granted but subject to investigation into opening West Dean Tunnel with reference to where tunnels have been opened in Bath and Bristol [many other examples], and liaison with Natural England towards obtaining a Licence through minimising the impact on the bats.
It was noted that there has to be a route that avoids the Main Road – this could be achieved either via the West Dean Tunnel or through the woods, which involved further impacting ancient woodland, steep gradients and negotiations with a mozaic of different tenants. The Policy and Resources Committee will be asked to take this forward.
Both Adam Bell and I spoke about the need for this Centurion Way Extention – we could well have influenced the Planning Committee in favour of Passing the Application.
There is a recording of the Meeting available on the SDNPA Website.
Immediately following the Meeting, Chris Sprules, Adam Bell, Cllr Henry Potter and I had a constructive conversation with Alister Linton-Crook of the SDNPA to confirm our support.
The area where Centurion Way currently finishes at West Dean and the new section of path will begin can be viewed in the snip from Bing maps shown below. The route of the old railway line can be made out as it is lined with trees.
On Sunday the 14th July the Friends of Centurion Way staged a Chichester Summer Festival family circular walk including an interactive quiz. The items of interest highlighted along the circular walk reflect the history, nature and wildlife surrounding this much loved shared cycleway and footpath.
The circular walk raised awareness of: Sculptures created by Richard Farrington with assistance of the children from Bishops Luffa school; Fruit trees that offer a juicy snack for anyone using the path; Vital habitats for nocturnal bats; A route along Hook Dyke which may have once been a Roman road; Shy slow-worms that live along the path; Rare chalk stream environment important to wildlife; Remnants of the Chichester to Midhurst railway line telegraph system; How to calculate the age of mature oak trees.
As well as offering a fun family quiz the Friends on Centurion Way spoke to many people about impending threats to the path posed by local development. Linden and Miller Homes intend constructing 1600 new dwellings to the immediate west of Centurion Way. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of clarity about the current plans for building the Southern Access Road which seems certain to impact upon the existing route of Centurion Way.
If ever built, the Southern Access Road will likely carry the majority of motor vehicle traffic from the new West of Chichester development. Chichester District Planing authorities previously negotiated with the housing developers to ensure that a Southern Access Road should carry construction traffic from around the delivery of the 120/125th dwelling. Early draft plans seen by the FOCW showed disappointingly poor provision for walking and cycling and also fail to meet Department for Transport guidelines.
Linden and Miller representatives have explained that they would prefer not to publicly reveal their current Southern Access Road plans as this might damage their ongoing commercial negotiations. However, our group have recently discussed planing matters with Bishop Luffa school. The school appear unaware of new negotiations taking place regarding the Southern Access Road, which seems strange considering the new road is likely run through the existing school land. Perhaps the revised plans present a radical departure from previous drawings with the new Southern Access Road joining at Clay Lane?
Whatever new transport infrastructure plans are put forward, the Friends of Centurion Way aim to ensure that our local pedestrian and cycle ways are preserved and enhanced, allowing new and existing path users to enjoy safe, confident and convenient walking and cycling in the future.
Mark Record (on behalf of the friends of centurion way)
Thanks to everyone who has been helping fundraise, especially everyone who joined us for the pub quiz on the 14th May.
We know Chichester District Council planning department have an agreement with local housing developers about building a new road that threatens Centurion Way! Documents show this agreement anticipates the availability of the Southern Access Road to be open for construction vehicles around the delivery of the 120/125th dwelling.
We hope that by installing a counter we can demonstrate how vital Centurion Way is to the local community. By providing evidence of the levels of traffic the path sees we hope to persuade local planners to provide better standards of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure that meet or exceed the Department for Transport guidelines.
Sustrans already have a counter at Hunters Race but it works a little like a metal detector so only sees the metal frames of bicycles. However, the soon to be installed Friends of Centurion Way counter will count all path users and show the total number of people using the path. It will sense path users wirelessly and beam the path usage data into the “cloud”. We intend to hire the device initially for six months and hope to extend this period for twelve months if funds allow.
Why not get as much fresh air and exercise as possible on the path so we can show how much people love to use Centurion Way!
Help the Centurions safeguard this much loved walking and cycling path for future generations!
Where: The Rainbow Inn, 56 St. Paul’s Road, Chichester, PO19 3BW
When: Arrive May 14: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Who Join a Team or make a Team of Six.
Entry £5 per person payable in advance to include some snacks and prizes.
We are fundraising to buy counters to track pedestrian and cycling users on the southern end of the path – vital baseline data if the path is to be diverted!
Now you can buy your Pub Quiz tickets on line!
Don’t have time to send Philip a bank transfer or cheque ?
Why not click our Add to Cart button and purchase your Pub Quiz tickets through our Paypal e-commerce link!
On the right hand side of your browser screen there should be a PayPal button allowing you to conveniently to purchase tickets. You may need to scroll up and down to find it. If you are using a mobile device you may need to scroll down a long way to find the button at the bottom of the page.
Alternatively you can purchase your tickets from Philip!
Online Payments described as “Quiz” with “[Name]” together with covering email to
Friends of Centurion Way [Lloyds Bank Account] Sort: 30-96-26 Account No: 37087460;
Phone: 01243 811672
Address: Garden Copse Cottage,
Singleton, PO18 0HH
A family friendly led bike ride along the traffic-free Centurion Way on Saturday 11th May. Meet at the bottom of Centurion, near the entrance to Bishop Luffa School on Westgate at 2 pm. The ride will be at a gentle pace, stopping to look at a few interesting things along the way and is about 1½ miles in total, up to the ampitheatre where the Centurions are, near Hunters Race.
All participants will get a free cycling badge, with a prize for the best decorated bike/rider.