Chichester District Council is to spend £20,000 exploring way to improve Bosham car park to help give a ‘more welcoming first impression’ of the village.
During a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday (May 3), councillors agreed the money could be taken from reserves to pay for initial work such as surveys and looking into options with designers and engineers.
Penny Plant (Con, Harbour Villages) said the project at the council-owned site was ‘long overdue’.
She added: “It has been an aspiration of the residents to improve the facility and the impression that visitors have once they arrive.
“There is even a detailed map in the Neighbourhood Plan, which was written in 2015, which shows several ideas on how this car park could be improved.”
Those ideas included planting native trees, re-landscaping to create borders and paths to keep pedestrians safe, and the installation of information boards telling visitors about the area’s archaeology, wildlife, village history and sailing.
Before the pandemic, Bosham attracted 275,000 visitors per year, peaking at around 2,300 a day in summer school holidays.
Tony Dignum, cabinet member for growth, place & regeneration, said: “Bosham is one of the many beautiful locations that people love to visit within the district, and it is important that we welcome visitors by providing visually attractive public areas that will leave them with a positive lasting impression.”
He added: “This project provides us with an opportunity to look at the design and layout of the area, to make best use of the land and make it more welcoming.
“This will include looking at improved planting schemes; the location of Blue Badge parking to make it easier for disabled users to access the village; improved signage, and community safety measures.”
A separate project exploring options to improve the public toilets at the site was also approved.