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Plans for 3,000-seat Chichester entertainment venue withdrawn

Chichester high street. Photo: Shutterstock Chichester high street. Photo: Shutterstock
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Plans for a 3,000-capacity live performance and music venue in Chichester have been withdrawn.

The move follows “significant concerns” from the Theatres Trust over parking and toilet provision.

Located in a former furniture shop, the new venue planned to host a variety of music, dance, cabaret and family entertainment events accompanied by fine dining. It would have had a capacity of 2,000 to 3,000 people.

An application for the development was submitted to Chichester District Council by company S&H Leisure, which is run by Dominic Hawkins and Kieran Stanley.

However the application was withdrawn on July 18, with the council stating there was “insufficient information” in the planning documents for a decision to be made.

Correspondence with the council reveals the applicant intends to resubmit the application.

This follows a response to the planning application from the Theatres Trust, which expressed “significant concerns regarding the design, scale and sustainability of this proposal”.

The Theatres Trust stated: “Plans show there to be no dressing rooms or backstage facilities other than a loading bay.

“These facilities would be quite fundamental to the types of shows the supporting statement suggests will be held at the venue, for example cabaret and Disney shows with characters.

“There are insufficient toilets; it is stated there will be 31 whereas for the lower indicative capacity of 2,000 there should be around 75 toilets up to more than 100 for a 3,000 capacity.”

The response concluded: “We do not object in principle to this type of facility in this location, but we would suggest the applicant needs to provide more robust information as to how it can realistically manage the volumes of visitors it is anticipating and the impacts on local parking provision and transport that would produce.

“More fundamentally, they need to review how the building will function and to revise their plans to provide backstage facilities and to ensure there are sufficient facilities for audiences.”

It is unclear whether the plans will be changed in line with the feedback from the Theatres Trust.

S&H Leisure has been contacted for comment.

Kathy Bourne appointed executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre

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