VOTE: Should more time be given to examine plans for a facelift of Midhurst’s Market Square?

A call has been made by Midhurst Old Town residents for more time to examine long-awaited plans to give the historic Market Square area a major facelift.

Members of Midhurst Old Town Residents Association (MOTRA), which was set up to help shape the proposals, have asked for 21 days to look at the final plans before they go in front of planners for approval.

The scheme – which includes landscaping, paving and the replacement of trees in Market Square, as well as significant proposals for signing, surfacing, traffic regulation orders and parking arrangements in the Church Hill and Red Lion Street area – will be decided by the planning committee of the South Downs National Park Authority.

David Duncan, founder of MOTRA, has told Chichester District Council planners there is a massive amount of detailed information contained in the documents and drawings. “As West Sussex County Council (WSCC) have taken over a year to produce these documents, it should surely be possible to allow other stakeholders to have more 21 days to peruse them,” he said.

“This scheme was the subject of much discussion and meetings between the various stakeholders with WSCC, and this is the only opportunity these stakeholders have been given to review these highly detailed final proposals.”

Mr Duncan said he believed the application should be rejected if further consultation was not possible ‘until the applicant has presented the proposal to all the interested parties’.

He added: “WSCC Highways officers offered to arrange for the under-utilised one-hour time limited parking in Edinburgh Square and South Street to be changed to non time-limited, so that when the existing non time-limited parking in Market Square is lost, there will be additional non time-limited available in the Old Town,” but he noted this change had not included in the plans.

“I ask Chichester District Council not to allow any proposed scheme to go ahead until this has been met.”