‘Put Midhurst’s needs before butterflies’

editorial image

VITAL space which could provide much needed coach parking at the new Grange Community Centre in Midhurst has been left undeveloped for wildlife, it has been claimed.

And chairman of Midhurst Town Council John Etherington told fellow councillors: “I have been led to believe this piece of land was left untouched for biodiversity.

“But surely the health and wellbeing of the town ought to come before a few butterflies there.”

Town councillors are desperate to find coach parking space in the town. They are pursuing the possibility of using the bus station at the bottom of North Street as a temporary dropping off point for passengers and a waiting zone at the Midhurst Rother College.

But Mr Etherington told members of the finance and general purposes committee there were two pieces of land at the new Grange which were being ‘wasted’.

The first was beside the old tennis courts where he said two coaches could park.

But the needs of wildlife were apparently being put before the needs of the town, said Mr Etherington.

There was also a parcel of land in front of the former Grange building, now demolished, which had been part of the car park, but which had now been grassed over.

“It’s got car parking spaces either side and I want to know why it was grassed.”

Town councillors are holding a meeting after the Easter holiday to discuss coach parking with representatives of Chichester District, West Sussex County Council and Stagecoach. Chairman of the finance and general purposes committee Steve Morley told members he had been trying to arrange the meeting for some time.

“Both Chichester District Council and the county council have given their blessing to the scheme for a coach dropping off point at the bus station subject to Stagecoach’s take on it.”

He said the meeting would be a chance to explain the importance of coach parking to the town’s economy.