Lower cost homes could ease Midhurst housing pressure

PLANS for 13 new homes on the site of the former hostel for homeless people in Midhurst are set to go ahead after developers agreed details of the planning deal.

Wilmington Homes are set for planning permission at Tatchells on the Holmbush Estate once funding is agreed as part of their planning contributions.

Chichester District Council want £22,621 towards primary education in the town, £21,567 for community facilities, £10,000 for highways improvements and a further £7,000 towards library and public art facilities.

Members of the district council’s development north committee heard the developers want to build two two-bedroom flats and 11 two- and two-and-a-half storey three-bedroom houses on the site once the boarded-up Tatchells building, which has become a blot on the Holmbush landscape, has been demolished.

Five of the homes are to be offered as affordable housing, while the others are likely to be rented out at an affordable rent.


The plan has the backing of Midhurst town councillors who said they believed it would improve the appearance of the area and offer much-needed social housing.

The committee was told: “Midhurst has high housing need with 298 households on the housing register having a local connection to the parish. The development will provide much-needed affordable housing for local families.”

Tatchells was one of two buildings in the Chichester district used as hostels for homeless people. The second is Westwood House in Chichester.

But in January 2010 the district council declared Tatchells ‘surplus to requirement’ and decided to offer it for sale on the open market.

It has been boarded up for some two years and fallen into a sorry state of repair.

A number of mature trees at the north end of the site and along the boundary at the back of the site limited the amount of development which could be accommodated at these locations, the committee heard.

Open space would be provided in the existing wooded area to the north end of the site and each of the houses would be provided with private amenity space towards the back of the site.


Access onto Forest Road would be formed at the south end of the site and pedestrian access to the individual units would be from a footpath at the front.

Planning officers recommending the application should be approved once developers contributions had been agreed said: “The site lies in the Midhurst Settlement Policy Area in a sustainable location and therefore the principle of new residential development is considered to be acceptable.

“The proposed development is of a similar size and scale to the existing building on the site and will not detract from the character and appearance of the area, adversely impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties or adversely impact on other important features on the site, such as the existing mature trees.”