‘Green lung’ to be leased by council

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C120573-1 Chi Henty Fields phot kate'''' Henty Fields.C120573-1 ENGSUS00120120424120036

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A GREEN field in the city centre looks set to be saved for generations.

Councillors at Chichester City Council’s finance committee meeting agreed to accept a 25-year lease from owner West Sussex County Council for Henty Fields.

There were concerns the field, which is next to Central CoE Junior School in Orchard Street, could be closed off or ear-marked for development.

If the motion is passed by the city council, the 2.8-acre site will become the responsibility of the city council, which will look after its maintenance – such as grass cutting and litter duty.

“It is great for the city and residents who will be able to enjoy the space,” said Cllr Tony Dignum.

“There is always the nitty gritty detail to sort but my opening statement that we should support the motion was approved by the council.

“We have accepted the 25-year lease with a 15-year break.

“The field will be properly looked after – it will be a green lung – and safe from development for this time.”

Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith was also present at last Tuesday’s meeting.

Tim Rooth, chairman of Orchard Street and Old Somerstown Residents’ Association said the decision was backed by swathes of the community.

“The land is worth several millions,” said Mr Rooth, who feared the land would be ‘snapped up’ by developers.

“We have got a petition going with a lot of signatures,” he said.

“There was at least one person on the committee who harbours reservations. But everyone who signed the petition is in favour of this space being saved.”

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