The creation of a new country park in North Bersted can progress to the next phase after councillors agreed the project scope.
At a meeting of the Environment Committee on 17 November 2022, councillors voted to approve the proposed project scope which includes the production of a masterplan for consultation. The masterplan will include footpaths and off-road cycleways to improve accessibility and connectivity, opportunities for habitat improvements (trees and shrubs, grassland and aquatic areas), site furniture, management of water bodies and natural play.
The new country park will be approximately 47 hectares and will merge the existing Bersted Brooks Local Nature Reserve and areas of public open space to the north and south of Rowan Way (A259).
A sum of £320,000 has been included in the capital programme towards the country park. The funding was agreed by the Environment Committee on 20 January 2022 and approved by Full Council on 23 February 2022.
Councillor David Edwards, Chair of the Environment Committee, said:
“This new country park will bring so many benefits to residents in the area, visitors, wildlife and the environment.
By providing an area of easily accessible and safe open greenspace, we hope it will help improve residents’ wellbeing by giving them a space to embrace an active lifestyle.
The country park will also protect and enhance our natural environment as climate change and biodiversity will be carefully considered as part of the masterplan.”
Arun District Council will now appoint the services of a landscape consultant to support the delivery of the project. The consultant will review survey and site information to identify evidence gaps and carry out local stakeholder engagement. Following this they will prepare a draft concept masterplan for public consultation.
The masterplan is due to go to public consultation in Spring 2023 with work expected to commence in Summer 2023.