Patience runs out over youth camp

The patience of planning members of Chichester District Council has finally hit the buffers after months of wrangling with a youth organisation whose large-scale camps bring misery to villagers at Lurgashall.

Members of the north area development control committee have rejected an offer from the Woodcraft Folk of a legal agreement relating to its management of the site it owns at Park Farm, and opted instead to issue an order removing permitted development rights.

If the order is confirmed by the rural affairs ministry, Defra, it will mean that the organisation must seek planning consent even for a 28-day use of the land to which it is currently entitled without a planning permit.

The tougher line being taken with the Woodcraft Folk signals the council's growing irritation with its activities and the lack of progress in negotiations, notably over the number of people camping at the site at any one time.

The council has set a limit of 100 but the organisation has proposed up to 500 on a maximum 15 days each year, and otherwise camps for 150 people.

Full report in the December 22 issue of the Midhurst & Petworth Observer