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So far Emma Tremaine has created 28 blog entries.

Community Infrastructure Levy Annual Monitoring Return 2022-23

Click here to view the 2022-23 return.

Community Infrastructure Levy Annual Monitoring Return 2022-232024-01-04T11:12:04+00:00

Damaged Bus Shelter

Following a collision, the bus shelter on the A286 just north of Kings Drive has been damaged beyond repair.  The structure is safe, so there is no danger of it falling into the carriageway, and Stagecoach have been made aware.  This matter is now with the Parish Council’s insurance provider and we will look to provide a new shelter as soon as possible.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Damaged Bus Shelter2023-05-01T13:27:08+01:00

South Downs National Park Authority commissions plans to shore up Midhurst buildings damaged by fire

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), with the support of Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council, has stepped in to break the deadlock in progress around getting the listed buildings safely and legally secured. While the South Downs National Park Authority are leading on this aspect of the recovery, they continue to work closely with the other members of the multi-agency recovery group and other agencies will continue to lead on other aspects of the recovery.

We understand that the top priority for the community and businesses is to get the road through Midhurst open again and the frustration that this has not yet happened. We want to assure everyone that there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to secure the buildings to enable this to happen. The Angel Hotel and other buildings damaged are listed buildings and are protected by law. The solution to making the buildings safe and to secure them is for them to be shored up. The SDNPA, with the support of Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council, has therefore stepped in to ensure this happens without further unnecessary delay.

We can report that we have appointed a structural engineer who is currently finalising a plan for shoring up the damaged buildings. This week we are liaising with and visiting on site with potential specialist contractors who could then carry out this very specialised work. Our aim is to appoint a contractor to begin work as soon as possible. Please be assured that progress is being made. Unfortunately, we cannot give a date on when work will commence until we have a contractor in place, but we will provide regular updates on this work as soon as it becomes available.

Once the buildings have been safely secured, West Sussex County Council, as the highways authority responsible for the road, will be able to reopen the road through Midhurst.

The multi-agency recovery group was quickly set up in response to the fire as this is a complex legal, financial and practical issue with multiple agencies holding legal responsibility for different aspects of the response and recovery. To help, the group has prepared a detailed FAQs prepared by Chichester District Council which is updated as new information becomes available. The FAQs can be found here: www.chichester.gov.uk/article/37648/Midhurst-fire-Frequently-asked-questions

As public sector bodies it is deeply regrettable that we have to step in and address what is a landowner responsibility. Such decisions are very rare for good reason and have to be carefully considered. While public money will be spent to shore up the building and therefore break the detrimental impasse, we will use all legal means to reclaim these costs. The priority now must be the shoring up of the buildings which will, in turn, enable the road to be opened to get Midhurst moving again.

South Downs National Park Authority commissions plans to shore up Midhurst buildings damaged by fire2023-04-26T12:04:56+01:00

Update from Chichester District Council following the Fire in North Street, Midhurst

Residents and visitors urged to support Midhurst businesses following major fire

Local residents and visitors are being encouraged to support businesses as work continues to help Midhurst recover following last month’s hotel fire at The Angel Inn hotel and neighbouring buildings.

People visiting Midhurst this Saturday 15 April could be in with a chance of winning between £5 and £250 worth of vouchers to spend in independent shops in the town. Between 10am and 3pm, the Midhurst Town Team will be handing out over 400 envelopes of ‘Midhurst Pounds’ outside Stockley Trading near the North Street car park. The vouchers will be handed out on a first come, first served basis and can be used until 31 May 2023. For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/MidhurstBusinessNetwork

A multi-agency recovery group, which includes Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Midhurst Town Council and the South Downs National Park Authority, is working hard to support the town. The partners involved are urging people to support Midhurst by shopping and spending in the town, which boasts an excellent array of local and independent businesses, the vast majority of which are ‘open for business’ and can all be accessed on foot.

In consultation and agreement with the Business Recovery Group, Midhurst Town Team and Midhurst Town Council, following feedback from Midhurst businesses, Chichester District Council has been offering free parking for a period of a month (up until the end of 16 April) in order to help support residents and businesses in the first few weeks following the fire. From Monday 17 April, people can still access periods of free parking in The Grange car park, where they can benefit from two hours free parking per day, or in either the Post Office and North Street car parks, where they will receive an hour free per day. Customers will need to display a ticket or use MiPermit to obtain their stay (even during the free period). People can easily extend their stay by using the parking machines or using MiPermit:  https://secure.mipermit.com/chichester/

Residents and visitors looking to travel into Midhurst by bus, can currently access single bus tickets for £2 on the vast majority of routes in the district as part of the Government’s bus cap scheme, which will run until 30 June 2023. Please note that bus services in Midhurst are currently unable to serve Midhurst Bus Station, and so services 60, 91, 92 & 93 will now depart from a temporary bus stop at The Grange Leisure Centre / Library Car Park. For updates, visit: www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-17/03/2023-15:02:33:525. The ‘traveline’ website — www.traveline.info — shows customers whether a particular bus journey is part of the £2 fare scheme and also provides live updates on the bus services.

To support Midhurst businesses during this difficult time, Chichester District Council has set up a business recovery group, which involves weekly meetings, updates, and plans on how funding should be spent to support the town in its recovery. Chichester District Council has set aside £300,000 to help the town get back on its feet and encourage residents and visitors to support local businesses in Midhurst. Further information about this support can be found here: www.chichester.gov.uk/article/37575/300000-is-set-aside-to-help-Midhurst-recover-following-hotel-fire.

One of the initiatives being developed is a grant scheme for Midhurst businesses and this will be available next week. This scheme is not related to business rates, which are determined by the government and which have separate support schemes available — anyone wishing to know more about this, can visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/businessratesdiscounts and www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief

The Midhurst recovery group is committed to doing everything it can to reopen North Street to vehicles as soon as possible and to support those businesses affected by the incident. A firm of structural engineers, working on behalf of the owners, are devising a temporary façade support system that seeks to reopen as much of the road as possible whilst preserving the listed building facades. An update on timings will be issued as soon as possible after a further meeting with the structural engineers, owners, South Downs National Park Authority, Historic England and Chichester District Council next week. Once the building has been made secure, it will be possible to open the road (A286 North Street) to vehicles.

The West Sussex County Council Highways team have organised a diversion around the closed North Street with related signage at key locations. To ease congestion, temporary one-way restrictions have been put in place on the lanes surrounding Midhurst. Both the diversion and one-way restrictions are being monitored and adjusted where needed. Drivers are urged to follow official diversion signage, with more information available on: https://one.network. The team has also been responding to reports of potholes in the area and continue to encourage people to report these at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-pothole-online/ or by calling 01243 642105.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service responded to the fire, and they are currently investigating the cause. The investigation is complex and the buildings are not yet safe to enter, which is impacting the timescale for the investigation. It is anticipated that it may take a few months to determine the cause.

All waste and recycling collections are operating as usual after the council put in plans in place to overcome access issues. To keep up to date, the council is encouraging residents to download the Chichester District Council app, which provides personalised notifications on waste and recycling collections: www.chichester.gov.uk/chichesterdcapp

All of the agencies involved would like to thank local residents and businesses for their feedback, which is discussed at a multi-agency group every week. A series of Frequently Asked Questions — covering information about the incident, who is involved in the recovery process and who is responsible for what elements, and how residents and businesses are currently being supported — will be published on Chichester District Council’s website at: www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews.

Residents are also encouraged to visit this web page and follow the council’s social media channels for the latest updates on the situation.

Update from Chichester District Council following the Fire in North Street, Midhurst2023-04-14T19:47:20+01:00

Yellow Loo!

Pending the construction of our new permanent toilet, we have hired a yellow loo for the Easter school holidays – top of the park in the corner – you really can’t miss it!

Yellow Loo!2023-04-02T08:18:16+01:00

Midhurst Highways Update – 29th March 2023

The Structural Report has been sent to the Historic England, Chichester District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority. They are reviewing the findings and are developing a plan of action for the building.  This is likely to take the rest of the week due to the very complex nature of the situation so we have been told they will be able to give us a further, more detailed, update at the beginning of next week.
We recognise that strong feeling around the road closure but can only open the road when it is safe to do so.
With regard to wider highway matters, the find and fix gang is still in the area and working on the lanes surrounding Midhurst.  We are introducing further one way plugs at Selham Road and Oaklands Lane to try and reduce the volume of traffic travelling east from Midhurst along the narrow lanes.  We will be reviewing these measures on a daily basis and may put in place more formal one way systems as we expect to see increases in larger vehicles from the polo events.
The team will be reviewing all of the diversion signage to remove any unnecessary signage and ensure there is no confusion from multiple diversion routes in the area i.e. Pook Lane, Lavant.
The Variable Message Signs have been generally well received but there are concerns that the public believe the whole of Midhurst may be closed. Chichester District Council (lead organisation for comms) will be issuing a press release to try and address this and reiterate the town is still open for business as usual.
Midhurst Highways Update – 29th March 20232023-03-29T20:41:16+01:00

Midhurst Fire Update – Chichester District Council 24th March 2023

Midhurst Fire Update – Business Open as Usual

Following last week’s fire in The Angel Inn and neighbouring buildings in Midhurst, the majority of businesses along North Street which were not directly impacted by the fire have now re-opened and are fully accessible for pedestrians.

All carparks remain open and fully accessible to those wishing to visit the town centre with Chichester District Council offering free parking in all Midhurst carparks until the end of 16 April to support local business and residents.

The A286 North Street remains closed to vehicles to ensure public safety as the buildings are unsafe. All emergency service partners are aware of the closure and have plans in place to ensure that they are able to respond to an emergency incident.

A number of agencies met with the various representatives acting for the owners of the buildings on Thursday 23 March, including a Structural Engineer. We are now waiting for the report to come back from the Structural Engineer so that a decision on the most appropriate course of action can be taken. An update will be issued as soon as it is possible to do so.

A diversion has been organised with related signage at key locations. We are aware that local road users and those following Sat Nav may not be using the official diversion route, unfortunately this is unavoidable as they are entitled to use public highways.

To ease congestion, a temporary one-way restriction and diversion route will be placed at the junction of Eastshaw Lane and Brambling Lane. The restriction, which will prevent vehicles from entering Eastshaw Lane and travelling Eastbound along Hollist Lane, will be picked up by Google Maps and Sat Navs which should result in fewer motorists attempting to use this as an alternative diversion route.

We will monitor the success of this temporary restriction through site visits and public feedback and will make amendments if needed.

We are aware that local roads are seeing significantly higher volumes of traffic than usual due to the diversion. We are increasing our targeted inspections and we are also regularly reviewing works in the area to reduce disruption as much as possible. We will try and be as sympathetic as possible with any essential traffic management to make the roads safe, however the current conditions are very challenging and the roads must be safe for the public. We will look at larger repairs / schemes once the main road is open again.

We will continue to keep businesses and residents closely updated on this.