A decade of housebuilding at a North Bersted site is to end this year.
Berkeley Homes is nearing the end of its mammoth scheme at Bersted Park.
The development has created 556 properties so far, with the final phase of homes well under way. It has also become one of the most famous archaeological sites in the country.
The discovery of the Mystery Warrior’s grave from the Iron Age close to the current site of the Bersted Park Community Centre has seen the area become the focus for historical research by world class experts.
This has prompted a series of community events at the site, which began last Saturday, and an ongoing exhibition at the Novium Museum in Chichester.
Ben Annetts, sales and marketing director at Berkeley Homes, said: “It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years since construction began at Bersted Park.
“Living here brings a host of benefits for residents, with facilities such as a primary school and community centre on the development as well as plenty of sporting facilities and leafy parkland on their doorstep too.”
It was in autumn 2009 that Berkeley Homes was granted planning approval by Arun District Council for a location which is one of the area’s biggest for decades.
Fierce protests had greeted those attempts to build on the land, off the A259 Chichester Road, as well as an earlier scheme as far back as 1990.
But Arun’s need to meet government housing targets, and the chance of funds towards a Bognor Regis relief fund, saw the current development get permission.
Berkeley Park’s 451 houses and 105 apartments has since become one of the developer’s most significant sites.
It has become a community as well as a collection of housing. In 2014, Bartons Primary School was opened, with 221 school places for children from Bersted Park and the surrounding area.
The same year also saw Berkeley Homes open Bersted Park Community Centre. The building, in Lakeland Avenue, has brought together residents of all ages through its timetable of children’s clubs, exercise classes and exclusive events.
The centre is run by Freedom Leisure on behalf of Arun District Council.
Centre operations manager Tony Morgan said: “Since opening, Bersted Park Community Centre has gone from strength to strength. Nearly 30,000 local people used the centre last year, benefiting both the local and wider community, and we look forward to welcoming even more in 2020.”
“We run a range of activities, including pilates, bounce and roll soft play sessions, pre-school gymnastics, children’s parties, and an expansive range of health referral classes. We also host Dizzy Ducklings’ pre-school play group, various University of the Third Age classes and clubs, evening yoga and pole dancing sessions.”
Green space and parkland has been preserved among the new buildings. Berkeley Homes kept 200 trees during the building works and provided 13.94 hectares of green residents.
A football pitch, a cricket pitch, skate park, trim trail and play area have been provided. The balancing pond and village green provide other open spaces.
Chainsaw artist Simon Groves has created ten wooden sculptures inspired by the surrounding area in the past five years.
They have included a wooden sofa, a dragonfly bench and sculpted sheep.