Developers put the cat out - for good

Luxury housing developments are everywhere today the King Edward VII Estate in West Sussex has a feature that makes it exceptional: a “cat line”.

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The line divides the 162 apartments, duplexes and houses into one area where owners are allowed to keep cats as pets; on the other side of the border they are not.

The arrangement on the estate at Midhurst was set up because some of the homes are near ground-nesting birds on Woolbeding Common and Pound Common, which border the site.

The converted hospital buildings – with a further 247 new apartments and houses to come – sit in the South Downs National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and there were fears that cats could threaten wildlife.

The developers introduced the cat line which was accepted by Natural England and local planners, to reduce the risk.

Georgina Walters is a resident who has bought two properties.

“The gardens are looking lovely, and when the walks are opened up into the woodland it will be fantastic,” she said. But then, she has two dogs.

Prices on the estate range from £295,000 to £950,000. For almost £1m, you would hope you could bring the cat.