After four years of waiting, more than £200,000 is to be put towards the extension and conversion of Graylingwell Chapel.
Chichester District Council has agreed to pass £221,131.76 of Section 106 cash – plus interest – to Chichester Community Development Trust, which cares for the chapel.
At a meeting on Tuesday (May 21), Richard Plowman (Lib Dem, Chichester North) said the decision was ‘very overdue’.
Mr Plowman said the council should ensure that, in future, all facilities were in place ‘in a timely fashion’ when new communities were built.
He said: “I think it’s been about four years where the community has not had a facility, unless the facility was a temporary one which was actually the result of grants from the city council.
“This also applies to the play area, which has only just been completed.
“People have been living there for four years with no play facilities.
“It is to be welcomed but we must make sure in the future that actually the facilities which are absolutely necessary for the wellbeing and making the life of these new communities work are there in a timely fashion, rather than having to wait all this length of time.”
The Graylingwell development was built on the site of the old psychiatric hospital.
The development trust plans to convert the chapel into a community space celebrating the area’s long association with mental health care.
It will include a memory café suitable for people with dementia, as well as being home to meeting space, exhibitions, performances and cinema showings.
Section 106 contributions are paid to the council by developers to help cover the cost of providing community and social infrastructure wherever they build.
The Graylingwell money came from two major sites in the north of Chichester, Roussillon Barracks and Land South of Graylingwell Drive.