Call for housing and employment land at Midhurst falls on deaf ears at national park

Midhurst town councillors have expressed '˜disappointment' their calls for a mixed use of employment and housing on the former brickworks site appear to have been ignored by the South Downs National Park Authority.

Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 5:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 11:43 am
Gordon McAra on the old brickworks site

The town council’s planning committee heard that despite meetings with park planning officers over the future of the site,there was no clear proposal for mixed development in the park’s draft Local Plan. Instead it is allocated for between 65-90 homes with the added wording ‘development for other complementary uses will be permitted where such uses are justified through the whole-site masterplan, and are shown to meet a local need’.

“They have specifically not mentioned employment use and we are quite disappointed,” said planning chairman Gordon McAra.

The Rev David Coote who serves on a special group discussing the Local Plan with park officers added: “This is very disappointing because we have had on-going discussions over many months and I am beginning to wonder whether we are singing from two different hymn sheets particularly on this development. Our conversations have been to recognise the need for housing and employment use to stimulate economic growth in Midhurst and to see it as part of a package of commercial development and we see these two things coming together. The national park seem to be concentrating solely and exclusively on housing development which is very sad. It surprises us because of the national park’s commitment to sustainable development yet we seem to be looking at Midhurst as a dormitory town where people have to travel to work. It seemed sensible to us to incorporate work place opportunities. This seems a very laid back approach.”

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