VOTE: Is the delay to the Midhurst town centre scheme justified?

Town leaders have voiced bitter disappointment over news the ill -fated £400,000 scheme to enhance the historic core of Midhurst has been delayed 
yet again.

Despite promises the scheme to enhance the Town Trust owned Market Square would finally start next month, changes to the plans when they were approved by the South Downs National Park Authority in May have resulted in more delays and the project will not now start until February next year.

John Etherington, chairman of Midhurst Town Council and a Town Trust trustee said: “I am absolutely exasperated.

“We appear to be going round in circles which is costing more and more money.

“Now the National Park Authority says the scheme has been ‘over-engineered’ and we are virtually back to our original plans drawn up a decade ago.”

The latest delay has been caused by the amended plans to use Horsham stone paving, which it has now been discovered is not suitable for the job.

Mr Etherington said the Town Trust had called on county council officers to explain the latest position.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The Midhurst Market Square scheme was programmed to be constructed in the financial year 2012/13.

“We were anticipating this could be in autumn 2012, but following a planning application process through the South Downs National Park, which added to the timescales needed to develop the design, the proposed start for the scheme is now February 2013.

“Due to the nature of this historical conservation area, there are considerations that need to be made within the construction process.”

Have your say

Is the delay to the Midhurst town centre scheme justified?

You can cast your vote by clicking on the poll at the top right of this story.

Alternatively, have your say by commenting below.