Midhurst Vision First Project
Landscape architect company Deacon Design have been chosen to do the initial phase of the design work after a robust tender process. “Midhurst has a strong sense of community, heritage and its inherent relationship with the South Downs gives it a strong sense of place that has stood and test of time,” said Phil Deacon. “We believe there are opportunities for improvements to the streetscape experience for pedestrians and cyclists. This will include modern urban greening which, in a post Covid world has never been more important,” he added.
Where possible a variety of native plant species will be used which will help increase biodiversity. Some of the effects of climate change will be mitigated by making the town more pedestrian and cycling friendly, reducing the heat island effects hard surfaces create, by more planting and reducing run-off from heavy rainfall events with planted beds.
This is not a quick or easy process. Design work will be done in stages and will take time and further fundraising to continue and complete. The initial review and design concept work is being funded by Chichester District Council (CDC), Midhurst Town Council (MTC) and Cowdray Estate.
The aim is to have these proposed concepts to share and consult upon in spring 2022. The intention is that the concept drawings will be inspiring enough to get more funding for the next stages of design development. It is hoped that an initial stage of the work will start late 2022/early 2023.
Some comments from Midhurst Vision Partnership key partners:
As the West Sussex County Council member for Midhurst I have been delighted to work with the Vision Partnership team from the start. We are now at a really exciting phase – I am hoping the landscape architect team are able to produce some truly innovative ideas to help us all make the town more green and vibrant. I am delighted that there is now a sense of collaboration and momentum behind this project.
Kate O’Kelly, West Sussex County Councillor
We look forward to working with the Vision Partnership to become more collaborative in helping our town become more sustainable, ecologically aware, innovative and a great place to live in, work in and visit. The output from Deacon Design will create a template for the Town Council and our other local authorities to refer to when making decisions about our town for the future.
Carol Lintott, Chairman MTC
Moving forward, the Vision Partnership can set the benchmark for other communities to follow. The bringing together of partners united in pursuit of a common cause has been fantastic to witness. I’m confident their continued coordinated collaborative approach will ensure they will deliver environmental, economic and social benefits for Midhurst and the wider landscape which are aligned with our National Park Purposes and Duty.
Mark Alden, SDNPA
As the representative of Cowdray I am keen to reinforce our commitment to a collaborative and strategic plan for the town. Covid only goes to support the Vision Partnership aims to focus on our local environment and community and make Midhurst the best it can possibly be.
Cowdray will continue to be committed to being part of the group and to delivering the plan.
Jonathan Russell, CEO Cowdray Estate
We’re delighted to be supporting this project, which will enhance a key area of the town and make it even more welcoming for people to come and enjoy what the town has to offer. Midhurst is one of the District’s key visitor destinations and we look forward to seeing this project develop over the coming months.
Tony Dignum, CDC Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration
It is very encouraging to see the various stakeholders working towards a combined vision. This was one of the key aspirations arising from the workshops. A lot of work has gone on to be inclusive of all views whilst being sensitive to the practicalities of delivering the Vision Partnership projects.
Theresa Truscott, Midhurst Business Network
For 60 years we have followed a vision for Midhurst - that the historic buildings should be preserved, the infrastructure enhanced, and that it should be a vibrant and welcoming town. We are delighted that the Vision Partnership is inviting all stakeholders to come together to make this happen.
Harvey Tordoff, Midhurst Society