A new community in Chichester is beginning to come together, as work on one of the area’s most important new housing schemes takes shape.
Already more than 40 families have moved into the Graylingwell Park development, just north of the city centre, with more people set to move in later this year.
Next week, conversions of the former hospital’s historic Victorian buildings will be unveiled at a special preview evening.
On March 19 and 20, the public will then be invited to see the new homes and take a tour of the area.
They will be able to see some of the five luxury homes created in the former administration building, now named the Clock House. Work to restore the clock to its former glory is taking place and in addition, the former lodge has been transformed into a four-bedroomed house.
Managing director of developers Linden Homes’ Guildford region, Peter Youll, said he was very pleased with how things were progressing.
“I’m delighted the vision of Graylingwell Park is capturing people’s imagination. The development is really taking shape now as more purchasers move in and the community comes alive.”
Several community facilities are planned including allotments, a community hall, which will be built next to the Graylingwell Chapel, a school, a farm shop, artists’ studios and an orchard.
Immanuel Church, which used to be based in Parklands, has already moved into the former Graylingwell Chapel.
The Chichester Community Development Trust, which will own and manage the facilities, said land for allotments and the orchard would be endowed to the trust in a few years’ time.
Jane Haskins, of the community development trust said: “It seems to be going really well at the moment. We are trying to do events to bring the community together and we are talking to the community about the green travel plan and it is starting to really develop.”
The development has received a lot of interest from prospective home-buyers and residents in Chichester who are keen to see how the new community will look.
Sarah Forbes, who lives in Chichester, has been to see the site several times and said she thought the new homes were very attractive.
“I think the area has a really nice atmosphere about it and I am sure people who move here will be very happy.
“The progress made so far has been impressive and I can’t wait to see what the conversions will look like. I think it will grow into a very nice community and it’s good people are already at home there.
“Graylingwell has some really beautiful and iconic buildings, and I hope the developers make the most of them.”
Resident Tony Webster and his wife Sue moved to Graylingwell last year after living in Surrey for more than 40 years.
They got a taste for the area while holidaying at their caravan in West Wittering and decided they would like to spend their retired years in Chichester.
The couple said they were delighted to have moved into the development, which is one of the country’s largest eco-communities, and they were looking forward to the community flourishing.
“There’s so much for us to do in the area,” said Mrs Webster. “We plan to use the local swimming pool, play bowls and go to Chichester Festival Theatre. And being so close to the city centre there are all those lovely shops to enjoy and restaurants to enjoy.
“Wittering is only five miles away so it’s easy to pop down to the caravan and beach in the summer.”
Mr Webster added: “All our neighbours are very friendly and there’s a lovely atmosphere around the development.”