AMENDED plans for new homes on former Midhurst Grammar School land have been given the thumbs up by town councillors despite objections from members of the public.
Developers have reduced the number of new homes they plan to build on the site behind the Memorial Hall from 20 to 17 with vehicle and access points off Lamberts Lane, an estate road, landscaping and a new pedestrian footway along part of the lane.
At a meeting of Midhurst Town Council’s planning committee on Monday, members of the public said they felt there was already too much building in Lamberts Lane.
One woman told members: “We have enough housing in Midhurst, we don’t yet know how St Margaret’s Convent development in Petersfield Road will sell and until then, it is crazy to build more.”
She said the former grammar school development proposed on the corner of Lamberts Lane did not provide enough space for gardens, the houses were too close to the road and they were ‘ugly’.
Sanchia Elsdon who lives close to the proposed development told the meeting she was concerned about traffic.
“Both end of Lamberts Lane are so narrow and a development of 32 more cars will make a huge difference to the traffic.”
Colin Hughes said he was sympathetic with the sentiments of the members of the public.
“From our point of view a lot of what happens in Midhurst we would not necessarily agree with – gardens are a thing of the past, which I think is absolutely disgraceful – but when you approach the developers with an argument such as more traffic, you know the response will be that there will be less than when the road had a doctors’ surgery in it.
“It’s a very difficult situation but we cannot turn down a plan on the basis of what else is happening in the town.”
Town councillors raised no objection to the previous plan for 20 homes.
Cllr John Quilter said: “There do not appear to be any grounds for us to change our position.”
Chairman of the committee Gordon McAra said West Sussex County Council had no highways objections.
The plan will now be decided by the South Downs National Park Authority.
Town councillors have asked that the developer’s contribution money generated from the scheme go towards refurbishment of the former library and work on the steps of the old town hall.