Bus parked at Eastbourne’s Black Robin Farm branded as ‘glamping’ accommodation by council

A bus that has been spotted parked at Eastbourne’s Black Robin Farm is being used as ‘glamping’ accommodation, according to the council.

Black Robin Farm at Beachy Head was refurbished by the council to create holiday accommodation, available to let since April 2021.

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The site is also involved in the town’s levelling up plans to create an education and visitor centre.

SKOOLIE STAYS. Photo by Visit Eastbourne. SUS-220118-102356001

The farm, which boasts around 1,000 acres, is one of the largest tenanted farms in the South East. It is still a working farm alongside the holiday cottages and future visitor centre.

Now residents have raised concerns around an American-style bus parked there.

Roger Charlwood, of Hocbome Farm in Beachy Head Road, said, “I would like to draw the attention of the residents of Eastbourne to what is going on at Beachy Head, as the Eastbourne council members do not seem interested.

“For the last month or so there has been parked on Black Robin Farm a large bright yellow old American school bus. This can be clearly seen and stands out like a sore thumb as you drive past the main road up to Beachy Head. It is really very unsightly, spoiling the views of everyone visiting this beautiful area. It has nothing to do with the farm.”

SKOOLIE STAYS. Photo by Visit Eastbourne. SUS-220118-102426001

Roger said he’s heard rumours the Eastbourne tourism team has given the people connected with the bus a lease to park it there and live in it.

He said, “Black Robin Farm on Beachy Head is a successful working farm and has been so for very many years. The site should be left as a working farm together with the farm buildings, not turned into some tourist creation.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “Skoolie Stays is a refurbished American school bus which is currently being let out as upmarket self catering ‘glamping’ style accommodation, attracting visitors to Eastbourne.

“A temporary 12-month licence has been issued for the bus to remain in this location with very clear stipulations for its use. This eco-friendly self-catering accommodation boasts solar panels and renewable energy and is used only by paying guests. It is not in any way a permanent residence.

“Black Robin Farm is a working farm, and two of the holiday cottages have been in use for self-catering holidays for visitors to Eastbourne, receiving fabulous feedback and bringing new visitors to the magnificent downland. Income and commission generated from the Black Robin Farm cottages and Skoolie Stays is available to use for future improvements and developments onsite.

“Relevant senior officers and councillors are all aware of the Skoolie Stays bus, and future use will be taken into consideration as part of the Levelling Up Fund plans at Black Robin Farm and by the project group for the Eastbourne Downland Whole Estate Plan.”