Midhurst Youth Trust campsite plans take a step forward

The Stedham campsite until recently used by 5000 young people every year
The Stedham campsite until recently used by 5000 young people every year
  • Midhurst Youth Trust has unveiled plans for new classroom and kitchen buildings on the Stedham Campsite
  • It is part of a bid by the trust to restore the campsite until recently used by 5000 young people every year
  • The trust bought the site from West Sussex County Council under the community right to buy scheme earlier this year

MIDHURST Youth Trust is pressing ahead with plans to restore the youth campsite at Stedham to its former glory.

It is hoping the site which was used by more than 5000 young people every year will soon be able to boast 21st century facilities which will bring scouts, guides, school groups and Duke of Edinburgh award candidates flooding back.

The trust has submitted plans to the South Downs National Park Authority to replace the dilapidated campsite buildings on the site in Toe Lane with modern classroom and kitchen facilities.

In a statement supporting the planning application, Rookery Barns said: “The site benefits from existing buildings however these are in need of upgrading.

“The new buildings will provide enhanced facilities for use by community groups helping to ensure the longevity of the campsite.”

The statement adds: “The rural setting and attractive countryside vistas make the site a valuable community resource that is worthy of protection to ensure the continued benefit to youth groups to visit and camp in the special South Downs setting.

“The site through generations of visitors to the area, also contributes to the local economy.”

The new facilities would not only benefit the youth groups, it is claimed but also lead to an ‘aesthetic enhancement’ to the South Downs National Park landscape through the use of attractive oak-framed high quality buildings.

In May the youth trust announced it had finally agreed the sale of the campsite after negotiations with previous owners West Sussex County Council which had taken more than a year. It meant the site had been saved for the continued use of young people.

With its price tag of around £330,000 it had been taken over under the ‘community right to buy’ scheme. The youth trust was helped by support from local charitable trust.

The 12 acre campsite was closed two years ago by the county council as part of far-reaching financial cuts.

Speaking on behalf of the trust earlier this year Colin Hughes said: “Bookings are being taken for this year, but the intention is to market the new look camp site for next spring. It is a challenging and exciting time for us all.”

“We are very excited we have been able to play a part in saving this well used and much loved campsite.”

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