People are being urged to support Midhurst businesses following the major hotel fire at The Angel Inn and neighbouring buildings on the A286 North Street.
A multi-agency recovery group, involving Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire and Rescue, Midhurst Town Council and South Downs National Park Authority are working hard to support the town and get North Street in Midhurst reopened as soon as possible.
They have stressed that the majority of businesses on North Street are ‘open for business’ and can all be accessed on foot.
People can also benefit from free car parking in all Chichester District Council owned car parks in Midhurst until the end of 16 April 2023 – all of which are just a short walk away. This includes North Street car park, the Post Office car park and Grange car park. Once parked, customers do not need to take a ticket from the machine or book anything on MiPermit.
Chichester District Council has also been working closely with local businesses and has provided funding to the Midhurst Town Team for marketing and promotional purposes to support all businesses in welcoming visitors to the town.
The A286 North Street remains closed to vehicles to ensure public safety. Specialists from a variety of agencies, including South Downs National Park Authority, Chichester District Council and Historic England are urgently assessing the report from the building owner’s Structural Engineer to develop a clear plan of action. It’s expected that this work will take the rest of the week, but the agencies involved believe that they will be able to give a clearer indication on timescales by the beginning of next week (Monday 3 April.) The situation is incredibly complex and as the hotel is a listed building, legal processes must be followed.
West Sussex County Council has 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. 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 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.
All waste and recycling collections are now operating as usual after Chichester District Council put plans in place to overcome access issues.
All agencies involved are committed to doing everything they can to get the road reopened as soon as they can and helping Midhurst to recover from this dreadful incident. The partners will continue to keep businesses and residents closely updated on the situation.