Midhurst Women’s Institute has put its plot of land in Lamberts Lane up for sale as part of a package which could bring another new housing development to the town centre.
The WI land sits between the West Sussex County Council-owned youth hut site and school tennis courts.
The institute has joined in with the county to sell the whole lot as one plot totalling just over an acre in size.
It is within the built-up area of Midhurst, but is being marketed on the basis any development will be subject to planning permission, said Martin Curry of Henry Adams estate agents in Chichester, which is handling the sale with joint agents Marshall Clark of Worthing.
Betty Parry, the institute’s president, said this week it was hoping to get around £100,000 from its part of the deal.
“We own our piece of land. Midhurst WI bought it during the last war,” Mrs Parry said.
“Our wooden meeting hut has been there since about 1959. It was an army hut, but it has reached the stage where it is costing too much, what with the maintenance, rates, water, insurance and electricity bills. We work so hard just to try to keep it going and none of us is getting any younger,” she added.
Midhurst WI marks its 90th anniversary this year and has around 20 members.
The intention is to ensure its survival, the president stressed, even though it would not have its own base which it currently uses on three days a week.
In addition to meetings, it has other activities and fundraising jumble sales there.
“We hope to be able to hire somewhere for our meetings,” Mrs Parry said.
“If we close, the money from the sale will go back to WI headquarters so we need to have at least a year of spending it.”
The youth hut site, which also accommodates Midhurst Nursery Class, is being sold after arrangements were reached to build a new youth club at the former Whiphill farm buildings adjacent to the Midhurst Rother College redevelopment.
The new accommodation is expected to be completed around the same time as the school buildings, in September this year.
The land package is being sold by tender with a deadline for offers of midday on March 15.