The Manhood Peninsula has been overlooked in the Chichester Vision, a long-standing campaigner for the area has said.
Dr Carolyn Cobbold, from the Manhood Peninsula Partnership, says the draft Vision document fails to mention the words beach, sea, coast or water sports at all.
Chichester District Council, which produced the document, says its focus is the city centre and its relationship with the rest of Chichester.
Dr Cobbold said: “This omission is extraordinary considering the economic evidence document underpinning the Vision shows that 74 per cent of all annual visitors who stay in the area stay in the peninsula.
“The Vision is missing a trick by failing to recognise one of the most popular beaches in the country, the unique coastal habitat and bird-watching areas of Medmerry and Pagham, and some of the last remaining fishing and seaside villages in the south-east.”
Dr Cobbold said the peninsula and its coast should be included as much as the South Downs, Chichester Harbour, and Goodwood are.
“If we design a city centre recognising all of its attractions and link them with a network of cycle and footpaths, we will create a global destination able to compete with most places in the 21st century,” she added.
The six-week public consultation on the Chichester Vision began last week and exhibitions were held on Monday and Wednesday, and are happening today (Thursday) at Chichester College (9am-5pm); and on Friday at the University of Chichester.
Chichester District Council said Visions elsewhere had taken place.
A spokesperson said: “Over the past few years work has gone into producing vision documents for our three main towns in the district – Midhurst in 2008, Petworth in 2014 and Selsey from 2007 to 2008 – and we are actively looking at how we might refresh the Selsey and Midhurst Visions.
“The aim of the Chichester Vision is to focus specifically on the city centre and its relationship with the rest of Chichester.”
“This is the area within and adjacent to the city walls and ring road, extending east to include St Pancras and the Hornet, northwards to include the Festival Theatre and University, westwards to include the College and southwards to include the Canal Basin and Chichester Gate.
“A number of key sites around the city are emerging for development which present opportunities to enhance the city’s streets and public spaces and to make the most of the city’s heritage and cultural assets.
“In order to best consider how these sites might be used, it was agreed to work with a variety of partners, including West Sussex County Council, Chichester City Council and the Chichester BID and numerous city businesses and organisations to produce a long-term Vision for the city centre.
“We appreciate that the district as a whole has a lot to contribute regarding tourism which is why the council is working with partners on a strategy for the visitor economy.”
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