A supermarket may replace The Grange in Midhurst

The Grange Leisure Centre, Midhurst
The Grange Leisure Centre, Midhurst

A NEW supermarket could be built in Midhurst on the site of the Grange Leisure Centre which is about to be demolished.

But a note of caution has been voiced over the possible loss of new housing on the site.

The town’s Chichester district councillor Gordon McAra told fellow members of the town council the district council had sent out 50 information packs to prospective developers.

“Some have gone to housing developers but five major supermarkets are interested in the site,” he said.

“So it maybe, partly because supermarkets pay more for sites, that we could have the possibility of a national supermarket there, which I think a lot of shoppers which be very pleased about.

All potential supermarket developers, said Cllr McAra were being asked to provide a car parking plan so there was no impact on the new Grange Centre.

He said there was currently planning permission for 14 homes, including some affordable home provision on the site.

Fellow town councillor Margaret Guest said she had concerns about the possible loss of housing.

“There are concerns about planning in the South Downs National Park and how that effects housing. We know we have a dearth of housing in this area. I am concerned because we are part of the national park, not part of Chichester District Council and as far as housing goes, our residents may well lose out.

“The town council does not have a neighbourhood plan so I realise we have very little influence over housing in this area, but I think we should exercise caution here because there is a potential to lose housing.”

The current Grange is expected to be demolished later this year.

It is scheduled for closure, after a special commemoration week, on November 24.

In its latest newsletter about progress of development on the new Grange building, CDC has said the new centre is expected to open in ‘early 2014’.