We are pleased to report that both Local Planning Authorities (Chichester District Council and Havant Borough Council) have recently adopted a guidance document called the ‘Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Joint Supplementary Planning Document'. (SPD)
This document brings forward much of the guidance and photographic examples from the Conservancy's ‘Design Guidelines for New Dwellings and Extensions' document. It also includes guidance on further issues such as licences required for works in the intertidal area, new moorings and intertidal structures, signage proposals, and renewable energy.
The adoption of this document follows the hard work of Conservancy and Local Planning Authority Officers to ensure that the Conservancy's guidelines and policy approaches become consolidated and have greater ownership by both Local Planning Authorities.
We are, therefore, feeling optimistic that the newly adopted SPD will be consistently referred to by developers, applicants, Planning Officers and Planning Inspectors at all levels in relation to proposed development within or affecting the AONB.
The document can be viewed here.
We have published new guidance for building and maintaining sea defences, called ‘Sustainable Shorelines'. The document, now available to download here, was co-written with expert coastal engineers at Royal Haskoning DHV, and was specifically prepared for use in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Chichester Harbour is the largest natural estuary in south east England and 43% of the AONB is fully submerged at high tide. In recognition of its high environmental value, the Harbour is designated as a Ramsar site for its wetlands, a Special Protection Area (SPA) for its birdlife, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its habitats, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its flora and fauna. As a result, all proposed developments on or near the foreshore are scrutinised by the Conservancy, Natural England and the Local Planning Authorities, to ensure any potential adverse impacts are minimised.
Residents are urged to consider the guidelines before submitting a planning application for a shoreline location and to discuss their intentions with us and Natural England at the earliest opportunity.
On 17 October 2016, Chichester Harbour Conservancy formerly adopted 18 new Planning Principles, which replaced the Planning Guidance. These Planning Principles interpret and supplement the adopted policies of the relevant Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and are prepared to promote and reinforce local distinctiveness in the AONB.
This will offer those seeking planning permission greater certainty on which to make their investment decisions. It is anticipated that this greater clarity will strengthen relationships between the LPAs, developers, voluntary organisations and general public which in turn will strengthen the delivery of the AONB Management Plan.
The key objectives for the Planning Principles are to be seen from the perspective of the Conservancy's responsibilities, recognising that these are consistent with, and seek to interpret, adopted statutory land use policies as they relate to development in the AONB.
You can download a pdf version of the Planning Principles document here.
The Conservancy's Role
Chichester Harbour was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for its unique landscape. Within all AONB's the purpose of the planning system is to ensure that any change through development conserves or enhances the natural beauty of the landscape. The Conservancy therefore comments on any changes to planning policy at national, regional or local levels - planning decisions on new development requiring planning permission are made in accordance with these planning policies.
The Conservancy is also consulted on all planning applications within the AONB boundary by either Havant Borough Council or Chichester District Council, and also those applications on or just outside of the boundary that are visible from within the AONB. The Conservancy is asked to comment on the impact of development on the AONB landscape or nature conservation and also takes into account the socio-economic benefit of such developments on the AONB. The Conservancy bases its responses on the development plan policies for Havant Borough Council and Chichester District Council, the Chichester Harbour AONB Management Plan and other planning guidance.
Click here for Planning Consultative Committee information
The greatest pressure for development for Chichester Harbour AONB is from replacement or new dwellings and extensions in or close to the AONB boundary. As a result the two local planning authorities within the AONB, Chichester District Council and Havant Borough Council in conjunction with the Conservancy have created Design Guidelines for New Dwellings and Extensions.
Please download and carefully consider the guidelines for your area. If you need further assistance do not hesitate to contact the Harbour Office, Chichester District Council or Havant Borough Council.
The guidelines can be downloaded as a pdf document. Please ensure you read your area in conjunction alongside the General Guidance.
Design Guidelines for New Buildings and Extensions (2MB)
The Landscape Character Assessment was produced by Chris Blandford Associates in 2005. It can be downloaded as a pdf document, however please note the large file size.
To construct, alter, renew or extend any works on, under or over tidal waters or tidal lands below the level of high water in Chichester Harbour needs a works licence issued by Chichester Harbour Conservancy. Please carefully read through the Guidance Notes with the Application Form.