Red tape hurdle for Midhurst garden
Unsung heroes in Midhurst have been supplying plants and tending the North Street Stag Garden at the northern entrance to the town for some two decades.
John Backshall, Clive Penny and David Tunks received special recognition for their voluntary efforts from grateful town councillors at their recent annual awards evening.
But in the wake of their retirement, councillors were amazed to discover they must now pay Chichester District Council (CDC) for the privilege of planting flowers on CDC owned land.
Chairman of the town council’s community and environment committee Lesley Campbell said they now had to pay £85 for a licence to carry on the garden.
They must also provide public liability, produce a risk assessment and a method statement of their intended use of the land. It must all be done before they can even remove the dead flowers in the flower beds now.
Stunned town council chairman Mark Purves said: “This has been going on for 20 years and CDC failed to notice and now they want us to pay for a licence to do it.”
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