Councillors at Chichester District Council have approved the next major steps for the biggest project in the city of Chichester for a generation.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to go out to tender to find a development partner for the Southern Gateway project. They also approved the development brief, a detailed document outlining all the objectives which developers will need to meet as part of the process.
The development brief has been prepared with involvement from partners West Sussex County Council and Homes England and other city stakeholders including Chichester City Council and Chichester BID (Business Improvement District).
“This is a hugely exciting point in the project because we will shortly start the journey to find a development partner who will help us to make this major regeneration project a reality,” said Cllr
Tony Dignum, leader of Chichester District Council. “Since the Southern Gateway Masterplan was adopted last year, a lot of important background work has taken place ready for us to start the formal process of going out to the market and the project team is now looking forward to hearing from prospective developers.
“In summer a ‘soft market test’ took place – an informal exercise to see how developers might respond to the opportunity – and we were very pleased with the positive reaction we received.” We used the feedback to further improve the brief so that it is absolutely clear what it is that we asking of a potential developer.
“Because of the interest expressed back in summer, I am confident that we will find a high quality partner as eager as we are to deliver this project for the benefit of the community.”
The project’s aim is to stimulate economic growth and create new, better paid jobs by transforming this largely brownfield area.
The 30-acre site near the canal, will be turned into a vibrant and attractive new quarter featuring an estimated: 365 new homes, 20,600 square metres of new commercial space including business and retail space and leisure and tourism facilities;, improved transport links and a focus on cycling, walking and public, transport, plus public space enhancements and landscaping.
The Southern Gateway is predicted to create more than 1,400 jobs and protect at least 200 existing jobs, as well as improve air quality in the centre of the city.
This year the project received £5 million of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership, Coast to Capital and is also being promoted by the Department of International Trade as part of its overseas programme.
The process of finding a development partner will take six months and the council anticipates announcing its selection in June 2019.
The next stage will be for the development partner to develop their ideas and show them to the public next summer.