A new chapter for Midhurst’s Capron House

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PLANS to turn part of historic Capron House at the bottom of Midhurst’s North Street into flats have been given the thumbs down by town councillors.

At a meeting of their planning committee on Monday evening (April 22), members decided they did not have enough detail in front of them to make formal comments.

They were looking at plans to use part of the first floor as a pair two bedroomed flats and make further use of the second floor as a single one bedroomed apartment.

In addition the plans which have been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority include proposals to use existing space for additional toilets and a kitchenette on the first floor.

Vice chairman of the town council John Quilter pointed out there was no parking space for anyone living in the flats at Capron House.

He added: “In addition the North Street car park across the road is already under pressure.”

Colin Hughes told fellow members of the committee: “I think the whole thing smacks of flying a kite.

“This plan does not square with the current wish to use Capron House for community use. This is a very old building and I am not sure that these plans are compliant with an old building.

“I think it’s inappropriate development and we should object to the plans because of the nature of the listed building. These plans are not sufficiently detailed for us to make a decision as to whether we object or not. We need to look a the whole context of future plans for Capron House first.”

Since the Cowdray estate took over the running of the south part of Capron House it has advertised space for office accommodation.

And the first floor is already beginning to be filled with several types of office use including provision of a home for the Midhurst and Petworth Observer reporters.

On the ground floor the Cowdray Estate has applied for a licence to hold civil marriage ceremonies and hopes to be able to start hosting marriages soon.