Midhurst reminds Chichester District Council 'there are people north of Singleton'

Chichester District Council has come under fire after Midhurst councillors accused it of neglecting the needs of residents north of the district.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Speaking at a full council virtual meeting last night (Monday, March 15), town and district councillor Gordon McAra spoke about Midhurst Town Council's response to a Chichester District Council newsletter which sought responses to the local plan review.

Cllr McAra said his written response, submitted to town councillors ahead of the meeting, was "to remind Chichester District Council that it has a lot of responsibilities in the national park area, which has at least 20,000 people in it, a feat which seems to have vanished into a mental black hole.

He added: "Yes, there are people north of Singleton."

North Street, Midhurst
North Street, Midhurst

Fellow councillor, Rev. David Coote, said: "I welcome this and I think it is really very important. From a planning point of view we have already mentioned CDC this evening. It may be a small issue but it has caused us to talk about it on numerous occasions.

"There are many other times when we are dealing with CDC I think it does need to accept the responsibility not just for planning if they are going to have any responsibility in Midhurst whatsoever.

"Or else we identify ourselves as separate from CDC which we cannot do."

Cllr Steve Morley said: "I totally agree with David. If Gordon can make the district council aware of our feelings up here I will support everything he has said."

The response sent to CDC read as follows: "Midhurst Town Council again reminds Chichester District Council that it is the housing authority for the National Park area as well as being responsible for the economic development of the towns and villages in the said area, covering a population of over 20,000 residents.

"CDC has shown little interest in economic activity in the park area other that imposing the Vision process on Midhurst and Petworth and its resources appear to be exclusively focused on Chichester City.

"Given that the National Park, although it has shown some interest in economic development, is correctly focused on its twin duties, this has created a vacuum in responsibility for the economy of 60 per cent of the Districts land area.

"It is also important to remind the District Council that they appear to suggest ignoring the other areas of activity as listed in the Plan Review newsletter, to the detriment of residents in the north of the district the Town Council therefore asks CDC, it its forthcoming Local Plan to voice the Town Council’s concerns and include such policies as to resolve this dereliction of duty and obligation to its residents in the north of the District."