Update – 6th April 2023
Work continues to help Midhurst recover from major fire
A multi-agency recovery group has today (Thursday 6 April) issued a further update following the major hotel fire at The Angel Inn hotel and neighbouring buildings on the A286 North Street in Midhurst.
The group, which includes Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire and Rescue; Midhurst Town Council and the South Downs National Park Authority, are committed to doing everything they can to reopen the road to vehicles as soon as possible and support those businesses affected by the incident.
The South Downs National Park Authority, as the local planning authority for Midhurst, has asked the owners and their structural engineers to shore up the buildings as quickly as possible. Currently, it is estimated that the work may take six weeks from 3 April, but it is hoped that it can be completed quicker than this. Once the buildings have been made secure, it will be possible to open the road to vehicles.
West Sussex County Council Highways team have organised a diversion with related signage at key locations. To ease congestion, temporary one-way restrictions have been put in place on the lanes surrounding Midhurst and other options are currently being considered. The diversion and one-way restrictions are also being monitored and adjusted where needed. Drivers are urged to follow official diversion signage, with more information available on https://one.network
.The county council is also aware that local roads are seeing significantly higher volumes of traffic than usual due to the diversion. They are increasing their targeted inspections and repairs and are also regularly reviewing works in the wider area to reduce disruption as much as possible. The team has also been responding to reports of potholes in the area and are encouraging people to report these at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-pothole-online/
or by calling 01243 642105.
Chichester District Council has been working closely with local businesses through a 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 promised to set aside £300,000 to help the town get back on its feet and encourage residents and visitors to support local businesses in Midhurst. A member of the council’s Economic Development team has also been seconded to support businesses in the town for the next two months. The district council is also continuing to offer free parking in its Midhurst car parks until the end of 16 April 2023.
All waste and recycling collections are operating as usual after the council put in plans in place to overcome access issues. The only exception this week, is that changes have had to be made to the collection date for five roads in Midhurst, because the crews are unable to use their access route through Midhurst Rother College on Friday, due to the bank holiday. Instead, the collection date for Lamberts Lane, Orchard Way, Park Crescent, Wyndham Place and Gilbert Hannam Close was moved to Thursday (6 April) morning. Due to unavoidable changes such as this, the council is encouraging residents to download the Chichester District Council app, which provides personalised notifications on waste and recycling collections. Residents are also urged to follow the council’s social media pages and website (www.chichester.gov.uk/latestnews
) where updates are also shared.
Chichester District Council has also arranged two drop-in information sessions for residents and businesses at the South Downs National Park Authority offices. The first one took place on Thursday 6 April and a further one will be held on Wednesday 12 April between 2-4pm. Chichester District Council staff from the Supporting You, Economic Development and Social Prescribing services will be on hand to provide information and help, along with representatives from West Sussex County Council’s Highways team and the South Downs National Park Authority.
All of the agencies involved are committed to doing everything they can to get the road reopened to vehicles as soon as possible and helping Midhurst to recover from this dreadful incident. The agencies would like to thank residents and businesses for their feedback, which is discussed at a multi-agency group every week to be considered and responded to. The partners will continue to keep both residents and businesses closely updated on the situation.
Update – 24th March 2023
Midhurst Fire Update – Businesses 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.
Update – 23rd March 2023
North Street remains closed to traffic, but pedestrian access is available to both ends of town.
Chichester District Council have granted free parking in North Street Car Park and The Grange Car Park until 16th April 2023, when it will be reviewed.
Buses from the North end of town (70) are still able to reach the North Street Bus Station – bus routes to Petersfield (Route 91) and Chichester (Route 60) are dropping off at the Grange Car Park.
Our small, independent Midhurst businesses, that shape our community, create jobs and make our town a unique and interesting place to live and visit, need our help.
With no through-traffic and regular customers avoiding the Town due to the diversion, some of our shopkeepers are reporting a drop in sales of up to 80%, an unsustainable figure after a difficult few years with Covid and an increase in utility bills.
Chichester District Council are working on a plan to ensure the economic stability of these businesses, but something we can do right now is get into Midhurst and SHOP! Whether it’s purchasing a new dress for a special occasion coming later this year, a new piece of art for your lounge, or simply a coffee from one of the multiple cafes and restaurants, our Midhurst businesses are ready and waiting to welcome you.
Park in either of the large CDC car parks for FREE until 16th April ’23.
Spread the word and help us to ensure that when North Street eventually opens up again, we still have a High Street to be proud of.
Update – 20th March 2023.
In the early hours of the morning on Thursday 16th March 2023 a fire rampaged through the Angel Hotel on North Street, Midhurst and the neighbouring building.
At the time of this update, Monday 20th March at 11.25am, North Street remains closed to traffic in both directions and will remain closed until the facade of the buildings have been deemed to be safe structurally.
Access is available for pedestrians to both ends of Midhurst and businesses remain open as usual.
North Street Car Park is accessible, as is the Grange Car Park.
North Street remains closed to vehicles
Pedestrian access is possible at both ends of Midhurst