Affinity Sutton unveiled its plans for the former St Margaret’s Convent in Midhurst’s Petersfield Road in 2011.
These artists impressions gave members of the public an idea of what was being proposed in May 2011.
Although later the plan to lower the wall fronting onto Petersfield Road was dropped, town councillors said they always understood the gardens behind them would be open to the public.
Chairman of Midhurst Town Council’s planning committee Gordon McAra said: “We have always identified it as a public garden.”
This is the latest controversy for Affinity Sutton’s Midhurst development.
Last year it was described as a ‘monstrosity’ and an ‘abomination’ by neighbours.
The plan was the first to be called in for discussion by the new South Downs National Park planning committee who gave the plan the thumbs up.
But as the houses took shape neighbours became increasingly angry and took to social media to have their voice.
At the time Joyce Ferguson development director for Affinity Sutton said: “The final design retains and enhances original features of the Regency Villa and has been scrutinised and subsequently approved under three separate planning approvals.”
Tim Slaney, director of planning for the park said there were no representations against the development at the planning meeting in February 2012.
He said it was unfair it judge it without seeing the buildings ‘in their final context’.
He added that planning permission was granted on the basis: “the development would conserve and enhance a listed Regency Villa and would provide housing for local needs - including affordable housing.”
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