VOTE: No peace of mind as gated community plan is opposed

Plans to turn Cowdray Court, the Midhurst retirement homes for people over 55, into a gated community have been given the thumbs down by town councillors.

At their planning meeting on Monday Midhurst town councillors objected to the latest plans from the applicants Telegraph Management Ltd who want permission to install automated entrance gates across the entrance to Cowdray Court from North Street in a bid to combat antisocial behaviour.

It is the second plan in a year from Cowdray Court where some residents are said to have suffered anxiety because of incidents where members of the public have gone into Cowdray Court, especially in the evenings.

Last November a plan for railings in front of numbers 1 to 4 Cowdray Court to protect residents, was refused by Chichester District Council.

Town councillors expressed their concerns about the creation of a gated community.

Gordon McAra said: “It is inappropriate for a small town to have a large gated community plonked in the middle of it – it doesn’t work that way.”

In their application Telegraph Management Ltd told Chichester District Council planners: “Recently there have been incidents of antisocial behaviour by members of the public entering the site particularly in the evenings and causing anxiety to some residents. We believe that gates installed at the entrance of the development will give residents added protection and peace of mind.”

They claimed there were gates across the entrance when it was the stables and garden of Capron House and gates were shown on the original planning application in 1998 for the development of Cowdray Court. The proposal is to install a pair of black-painted wrought-iron gates within the opening of the stone walls at the entrance from North Street.

They would be kept open during working hours throughout the week and closed at nights and weekends.