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Thomas Sharp and the post-war replanning of Chichester: conflict, confusion and delay

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Thomas Sharp was a planner of skill and sensitivity to context, very active in replanning smaller historic towns and cities after the Second World War. His 1949 plan for Chichester was well received locally and nationally, but led to fierce debates and conflict with the West Sussex County Council, newly elevated to the status of Planning Authority, who wished to widen the main streets that Sharp felt gave the town its Georgian character. The Ministry of Transport supported the imposition of standard carriageway and pavement widths. The Ministry of Town and Country Planning temporized and delayed approval of the Development Plan. By the 1960s Sharp's report seemed to have been forgotten, and a new culture of conservation radically changed planning policy. Perhaps Sharp's real legacy here was in delaying damaging proposals, and promoting a more holistic approach to 'townscape'.

Keywords: Chichester; Thomas Sharp; conservation; post-war replanning; road widening

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Property, Construction and Planning, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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