Midhurst Society responds to plans for 72 new homes at former brickworks

The site in Midhurst
The site in Midhurst

The Midhurst Society has responded to proposals for new homes at a derelict site in town, calling for several eco-friendly measures to be incorporated into the plans.

A pre-application for 72 new homes at the former brickworks and West Sussex County Council Depot has been presented by developer Metis Homes.

It plans to hold a full public consultation on the proposals later this year.

Harvey Tordoff has outlined the Midhurst Society’s initial response to the plans.

The group is calling for renewable energy to be provided at the site, pointing to the fact that a climate emergency was recently declared by Chichester District Council.

Mr Tordoff said: “It is essential that large-scale developments in the National Park include ground or air source heat pumps and/or solar panels.”

He also called for each housing unit to have at least one electric car charging point.

The society wants to see the development made ‘green and pleasant’ with trees, as well as an ‘adequate barrier’ put up between urban gardens and The Common in order to reduce the spread of non-native garden plans.

As for the homes themselves, Mr Tordoff said a mix of affordable homes was ‘essential’, adding: “Rather than rely on national recommendations we urge that local needs are taken into account.”

Adequate parking should also be provided for, he said, taking into account that car-ownership was more essential in rural towns.

He said: “Serious consideration should be given to providing basement garages which would result in more garden space and could reduce the clutter of cars on drives and streets.”

The Midhurst Society echoed calls from town councillors for employment opportunities to be provided at the site, suggesting a small number of units suitable for retail, office or very light industrial use could be included in the plans.

The developer has said that the recycling centre would be retained at the site.

Ally Kennedy, director of BECG, speaking on behalf of developer Metis Homes, previously said: “Metis recognises the importance of this site for the town, the existing community and businesses and will be carrying out a full public consultation later this year.”

See the application by searching SDNP/19/03606/PRE on Chichester District Council's planning website.

SEE MORE: Lack of employment land could make Midhurst a ‘geriatric theme park’