Fewer parking spaces while Grange is built

There will be fewer car parking spaces in Midhurst during the building of the new Grange leisure centre, town councillors were warned.

But director of employment and prosperity for Chichester District Council, Paul Over, said he and fellow officers were actively seeking alternatives.

“We are not pretending the building won’t have an impact,” he told a meeting of the finance and general committee.

“But we are trying to find capacity for the nine or ten months of the building contract.”

He said the tennis courts at the Grange would be redeveloped which would provide some parking space.

“But it will not be enough to see us through.”

In addition he warned the necessity to provide builders’ compounds on the Grange building site would add to the pressure on parking space.

There were currently negotiations in progress, he said, to demolish the public conveniences in the Grange car park which would provide additional space during the building operation.

“But all this will not be enough and we need to find other space until the Grange is complete.

“We are talking to private landowners to see if this can be achieved.”

Once the building was complete, he said there would be 60 extra parking spaces in Midhurst which were planned in the district parking strategy.

Mr Over said there had been concern in Midhurst during consultation over the introduction of car parking charges that motorists would abandon the car parks to avoid paying and instead park on street.

“But at present the reverse has happened with people using the car parks which are free until April 1 because there is civil parking enforcement on-street, and as a consequence the car parks are getting fuller.”

He said the situation did not surprise him, but he believed motorists might change their behaviour again once car park charging was introduced.