UPDATE: Midhurst town council asks for signs to ‘public’ gardens

Steve Morley in front of the hidden gardens
Steve Morley in front of the hidden gardens
  • Midhurst town council believes the garden behind the wall in Petersfield Road is supposed to be open to the public
  • But in emerging publicity for the new housing they say there is no mention of community facilities
  • They are asking for signage to the gardens
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MIDHURST town councillors are asking Affinity Sutton when it plans to put up signs with an arrow pointing to its new ‘public’ gardens.

The promised community gardens at the controversial new housing development in Midhurst are hidden behind a high wall.

Now fears are being voiced they will not be opened to the public in the same way that another public garden was lost in the town.

“Midhurst seems to be getting its own ‘secret gardens’ said Steve Morley.

He told fellow members of the town council’s planning committee he was concerned public gardens promised by the developers at ‘The Montagues’ development in Petersfield Road in front of the listed Regency Villa had not materialised.

Town councillors believe the public gardens were part of the planning permission for new homes granted in 2011.

“At that planning stage I asked for the wall to be lowered so people could see the gardens, but the wall has stayed the same height,” said Mr Morley.

He said the new homes were now being advertised: “the publicity does not mention the fact the landscaped gardens are open to the public,” he said. “On their website they mention ‘communal gardens’ but not how communal.

“There is no sign at the entrance to convey the fact these gardens are open to the public and when passing it is not possible to see the entrance.

“Even local residents walking by would not be aware there is a public garden, generously landscaped by the developer behind the wall.”

Mr Morley said: “It doesn’t lead you to believe they are thinking of it in terms of a public space and they are certainly not letting the people buying there think that.”

He was concerned history could be repeated: “in much the same way as Rosemary’s Parlour garden was lost due to the adjacent residents not wishing the public to have access after 6pm.”

A spokesman for Affinity Sutton said the company was looking into the issue and would comment as soon as possible.

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