AMENDED plans for the redevelopment at the former King Edward VII Hospital at Midhurst have been given the go ahead by South Downs National Park Authority planners with a warning they do not want repeated applications to become a ‘chronic habit’.
Developers City and Country asked for minor changes which reduced the number of homes by one. They also removed ugly later additions to the listed sanitorium.
Gerry Randall, chairman of the Hirst Park management committee, said residents had three main objections: “The current consent was granted on the understanding no significant subsequent modifications would be allowed. Since then it became apparent City and County would sell some parcels of land to other developers. Taking these facts together, if you approve these modifications, an important precedent will have been set and there is nothing to stop subsequent modifications. Our concern is with the passage of time the development we end up with will be quite significantly different from the one we have now.”
He said the amendments also shifted development towards existing homes in Hirst Park and Bracken Lane.
City and Country design director Simon Vernon-Harcourt said the former hospital was going through a ‘momentous period’ of redevelopment of which he was proud: “Poor quality extensions are being taken away and the vision of the architects is being revealed.”
Planning committee member Charles Peck said: “These seem sensible changes. We must remember this is enabling development and to make this souffle, we have to break a few eggs.”
But he added: “We don’t want to make a chronic habit of adjustments and the committee would be askance if this became a pattern.”