Now that the opening of the refurbished Cowdray Park Ruins is imminent (April 2007) Chichester District Council have decided to introduce charges to North St Car Par (unless they can be persuaded otherwise) and to the Grange Car Park in an attempt to manage the available space. Although there is plenty of suitable areas close to the Ruins on the Cowdray Estate for temporary or seasonal parking for visitors - April-September - Midhurst's Unique Selling Proposition - Free Parking - is under threat as never before inspite of Gosport, similarly afflicted - getting its Free Parking back again this week, so we understand, because of the blight which ensued after this unwise and unfair edict.
Midhurst's Water Meadows, eulogised by H.G. Wells, is being viewed as a suitable space for the expansion of North St Car Park and so is the area butting up against the Angel Hotel Garden. Most residents are appalled by this idea as are regular visitors to the Town.
We have a finite amount of space for car parking in Midhurst without destroying the ambience and the balance between Town and Park which is unique.
For shops and businesses, pubs and restaurants to survive we need to keep most of our precious parking spaces for those visitors which have an enduring interest in or committment to the Town. This is the issue above any other this Christmas (2006) which is giving residents and visitors anxious moments.