New tourism plans for former caravan park at Midhurst

New plans for tourism on the former caravan park in Midhurst are being investigated.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 5:15 pm

The large development site off The Fairway has been deserted for more than eight years and there are fears that it will become difficult to bring forward any plans for the extensive site if action is not taken.

It has been earmarked for housing allocation in the emerging South Downs National Park Authority Local Plan.

It has also been one of the town council’s preferred sites for the development of much needed new homes for many years.

But chairman of the town council’s planning committee Gordon McAra told fellow members this week he was beginning to have concerns about the future of the area.

“The site is rapidly being re-occupied by nature in the form of plants trees and wild life. Some of them may be rare. Eventually trees will gain TROs, and wild life and plants become protected then the site is no longer suitable for development. Unfortunately the longer this situation goes on, the more difficult it is going to be a get planning permission.

It had been identified that housing was needed on the site, but he said with the increasing importance of tourism and now that Midhurst was at the heart of the national park, there was an chance to put back some of the caravan park use on the site as well.

“There are no facilities like this in the immediate Midhurst area and tourism is becoming more important to us.”

He had now located the owner of the site, who lived in Earnley: “He used to run caravan parks and on behalf of the council I am planning to contact him and ask if he has any plans and tell him we would like to help.”

David Coote said he believed a combined housing and tourism use of the site would be an asset to Midhurst.

In November 2008 a proposal for 85 homes on a site was submitted to Chichester District Council planners.

Occupiers of the static holiday homes received notice to quit in September, 2007 and given five months to get their vans off the park.

The extensive site which has a picturesque lake has been deserted ever since then. Owner, Peter Pratt sought outline consent for 13 one-bedroom flats, 42 two-bedroom flats, two two-bedroom houses, 22 three-bedroom houses and six houses with four bedrooms. But development did not take place.

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