Chichester courts will all be closed

Chichester Magistrates' Court will close. Picture by Louise Adams
Chichester Magistrates' Court will close. Picture by Louise Adams

Chichester’s Crown, County and Magistrates’ courts will all be closed, the Government has today announced.

The news follows a consultation on proposals to close 57 magistrates courts, two crown courts and 19 county courts around the country

The confirmed closure in Chichester means West Sussex will be left without a crown court.

While Chichester’s Magistrates’ Court will close permanently, Chichester’s Combined Court (Crown and County) has been named amongst the courts where work will either move to an alternative courts and tribunals service or ‘suitable alternative local provision will be established before it closes’, the Ministry of Justice said.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Courts and Legal Aid, Shailesh Vara, said: “The decision to close a court or tribunal must never be taken lightly.

“For each location, I have considered whether the closure would still allow for effective access to justice, whether it offers significant saving, and whether it would allow HM Courts & Tribunals Service to maintain high quality service provision.

“Where these conditions are met, we have taken the decision to close the court or tribunal.”

Now Chichester’s Magistrates’ Court has closed, the nearest are in Crawley, Horsham or Worthing.

The nearest crown court centre in Sussex is at Hove.

In total 86 courts and tribunal buildings will close of the 460 across England and Wales, nearly a fifth.

Five of those under threat of closure will remain open.

The closures come are part of ‘modernisation’ plans which include a move to installing digital systems and reducing costs by £500m a year.

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