Opposition persists to a ‘village within a village’ in South Chailey

Deep concerns still persist over controversial plans to create “a village within a village” at South Chailey.

Local residents are still opposed to the Gradwell Park development, off Mill Road, despite the plan being drastically scaled down.

Exhibition of proposed Gradwell Park giant OAP home, South Chailey Village Hall

Exhibition of proposed Gradwell Park giant OAP home, South Chailey Village Hall

Retirement Villages Ltd has cut by a third its latest scheme to create an elderly care facility at the site.

Planning permission for the application was refused by Lewes District Council in June last year because of the size of the proposal.

Local resident Adam Walker, who lives in Mill Road, said this week that the same concerns at the greenfield site still apply.

Namely, these are that there is no overriding public need and the development would be a danger to local schoolchildren, he said.

Mr Walker said it would lead to increased traffic, have significant impact on wildlife and bring increased light pollution.

Retirement Villages Ltd staged a two-day exhibition at Chailey Village Hall of its plans for a 40-bed care home and 40 extra care apartments and cottages.

Chief Executive Jon Gooding said: “More than 50 people attended the exhibition and we were able to share fuller details of the new application with them, including showing a scaled model of how this scheme will sit alongside neighbouring properties.

“I found it very useful, over the course of the two days, to talk to so many local people. Some remain opposed to this development on principle but many see that this is a question of weighing up the pros and cons.

“I believe that there is a general acceptance that facilities of this kind are required in the area and many people, who did have major concerns about the scale and design of earlier proposals, now see this, very much smaller scheme, as a reasonable compromise.

“We will now be hoping for more direct feedback from local people who couldn’t make the event. Our website has all the exhibition details.

Mr Gooding said there is also a PDF form to download and complete to add fuller feedback – http://www.retirementvillages.co.uk/future-developments/gradwell-park

Retirement Villages Ltd, which has 13 existing villages in the UK and has been delivering the service for 30 years, expects that the revised scheme, if approved, will create nearly 70 local jobs. The new application is likely to be submitted to Lewes District Council by the end of next month.