AN AREA of greenland next to a school in Chichester’s city centre has been safeguarded from being turned into housing for years to come.
There had been concerns that Henty Field, next to Central CoE Junior School, Orchard Street, could be earmarked for new homes or closed off from the public.
But the popular 2.8-acre green space will now be available for local events like summer fetes after Chichester City Council finalised an agreement for a 25-year lease with West Sussex County Council, which owns the land.
Speaking at a Chichester City Council meeting on Wednesday, December 3, finance committee chairman Richard Ploughman said: “The agreement for Henty Field is a very important issue and I am pleased to say good progress has been made in negotiations.
“West Sussex County Council will give us £10,000 with a further £8,000 towards tree work which has to be done.
“I believe we have negotiated a very good agreement which should be very satisfactory to all residents who live near Henty Field.”
The county council had offered £5,000, but now that deal has been more than doubled, the city council will take over responsibility for maintenance from January 1, 2015.
Councillor Peter Budge said: “Taking on what will be a real asset to the community is a good idea, but I feel such a large field should be used for things like fetes, summer shows or whatever else is going on.
“I would like to give the local residents’ association the chance to put things on that the local community can look forward to so the field is used in a prosperous way so it doesn’t stay unused.”
Part of the agreement was for the field to be used for ‘occasional events’ like fetes, it was confirmed.