New car parking spaces for both Rolls-Royce’s headquarters and a Westhampnett school have been supported by councillors this afternoon.
The development is set to address existing overspill parking and safety issues in Claypit Lane and Stane Street.
A total of 492 spaces will be provided for Rolls-Royce staff, affiliates and visitors, while a separate 40-space car park for the March Church of England Primary School is also proposed.
The application was supported by Chichester District Council’s planning committee subject to the completion of a noise management plan and extra information submitted to Highways England about the impact of the car park on the A27.
Andrew Ball, head of corporate relations at Rolls-Royce, described how the company’s success and expansion has caused ‘considerable pressure on its parking facilities’.
Although the business had ‘worked tirelessly’ to address parking issues it was limited to what it could achieve without creating extra spaces.
Meanwhile as a gesture of goodwill a car park is being provided for the nearby primary school.
Mr Ball described the company’s disappointment at Highways England requesting information ‘at a very late stage in the process’ which was ‘out of context with the proposed scale of development’.
Lavant councillor Mike Hall described Rolls-Royce as a ‘very good neighbour to work with’ and hoped parking problems in nearby residential roads would be solved by the proposals.
He said: “This will get the cars safely off the road and make it easier for parents to bring their children to school.”
Jane Kilby said: “We have a major employer in the local area which is addressing what has become a major issue in Westhampnett.”
The staff car park will include landscaping, while its use will be limited from 6.30am to 10pm during the week and 9am-5pm on Saturday.
Lighting has been designed to reduce light glare and spillage, while the height of proposed acoustic fencing has been increased from 2.4 to three metres.
Meanwhile staff arriving from 6.30-7am will have to park in a specific zone furthest away from residential properties.
Simon Oakley said there was clearly a need for extra parking for the March School and Rolls-Royce, but called for the application to be deferred until Highways England had signed off the application.
He said: “I would be extremely uncomfortable in allowing delegation to officers until we have a clear position from Highways England as to whether there will need to be mitigation on the A27.”
But Tricia Tull replied: “I do not agree with that, why on earth do we want to wait for Highways England who we have very little faith in at this council.”
Gordon McAra added: “I would just ignore Highways England.”
Richard Plowman agreed adding: “The last thing we want to do is delay the process. This is a much needed car park.”