Long awaited building work to start at Midhurst’s new Grange centre in September

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LONG awaited building work on the new Grange community and leisure centre at Midhurst, which comes with an estimated £8m price tag, is finally scheduled to begin in the first week of September.

Planning permission for the new community and leisure centre got the go-ahead from Chichester District Council’s (CDC) north area development control committee more than a year ago in June 2011.

There was a delay while developers waited for the planned houses on the site of the current Grange to be given permission.

CDC was relying on selling the land with planning permission to help pay for the new leisure centre.

There was a further delay when the new South Downs National Park called in the plans after growing concerns over their poor ‘barrack’ type design and lack of car parking.

Planning permission was eventually granted to amended plans in October last year.

Building work on the new Grange community and leisure centre in front of South Pond was due to start in January this year, but there were even more hold-ups in getting all parties to agree final details.

But now, Chichester District Council is finally ready to begin the building which will take some 18 months to complete and it is now expected to be open to the public in the spring of 2014.