Hurst High Street legal action halted at eleventh hour

DM151468a.jpg. Hurstpierpoint traders unhappy about High Street closed for improvements. L to R Graeme Mackie, Ian Buckeridge and Simon Banham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150408-224216008
DM151468a.jpg. Hurstpierpoint traders unhappy about High Street closed for improvements. L to R Graeme Mackie, Ian Buckeridge and Simon Banham. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150408-224216008

Traders who were planning legal action over high street works have come to an agreement with the parish council after months of dispute.

Hurst High Street was closed to through traffic on Monday (August 3), for about four weeks, to allow for the Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish Council’s pedestrian safety improvement roadworks to take place.

The Middy reported last week that traders were considering taking out a legal injunction to stop the work taking place with the argument that there was lack of evidence to prove a need for the £150,000 works.

But after a meeting between traders and the council last Friday (July 31), they have agreed to work together to carry out work, including a major survey of village parking, which should boost trade.

Ian Buckeridge, general manager of Fat Fish fishmongers, said traders were pleased the council had agreed to work with them on future projects.

“Our gripe is that far too much money is being spent where the gain is not significant. The issue of parking has not been looked at.

“All the shop owners want short term parking as close to the shops as possible. There’s none at the East side of the high street.”

Stephen Hand, chairman of the parish council, said he was very pleased to hear that the way was now open for constructive discussions between the traders and the council about the serious issues of parking in the village.

He said: “Ian Buckeridge and all the traders make an enormous contribution to the thriving High Street that Hurstpierpoint enjoys. I and my fellow councillors will be happy to sit down with Lucy Driver and other Traders Association members to explore ways in which we can improve the availability of parking in the village to support local businesses and residents.

“We have planned a major survey of village parking for the autumn and the needs of local shops and businesses will be a key element of the resulting proposals that we put forward to the district council.”