Petworth Conservation Area debate

The glorious view overlooking Petworth. CONTRIBUTED PICTURE
The glorious view overlooking Petworth. CONTRIBUTED PICTURE

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to be included in proposed extensions to Petworth’s conservation area are due to get a last chance to have their case debated today (Thursday, October 10).

The final draft of the appraisal and management plan is set for approval at a meeting of the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) planning committee meeting this morning at Cowdray Hall in Easebourne.

One of the items under scrutiny is an extension of the conservation area to include Grove Lane.

Residents from the area wanted to have The Grove Inn, formerly Soane’s Farm House included, but told the Observer back in May they felt their campaign was falling on ‘deaf ears’.

But the report to the committee says: “The Grove Inn is a fine historic building, but stands isolated in open country, well beyond the 30mph speed restriction which heralds the edge of Petworth.

The outer fringe of the town is marked by a ribbon of twentieth century, semi-detached houses and dormer bungalows to either side of Grove Lane.

These dwellings do not possess special architectural or historic value.”

But it adds: “Grove Lane has an ‘edge-of-town’ character along most of its length, more diffuse than the historic ribbon suburb along Grove Street.

However, the northern end of the lane, around New Grove, is marked by good trees and continuous, walled boundary treatments and this strongly unifying feature is felt to justify a localised extension in this vicinity.”

The consultation draft was published on the SDNPA website for public comment between May 17 and June 28 and six responses were received from both businesses and residents.

Resident Sally Eames and her husband told planners: “The proposed boundary extension at Grove Lane should be more inclusive, to include properties further south as far as Soane’s Farmhouse (now The Grove Inn) and the historic barn opposite the field entrance to the Herbert Shiner School.”

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Bunt added: “The stone wall from North Grove to the Grove Inn creates as much of a continuous route into Petworth as the estate wall does in North Street.

“The Grove Inn and the respondent’s barn are both important historic buildings. Therefore, the proposed boundary extension should be more inclusive.”

Both responses will be considered at the meeting.