Bid to build South Chailey Retirement Village

Lewes news
Lewes news

An appeal has been launched against refusal of planning permission for a ‘retirement village’ in South Chailey.

The proposal is to build 40 nursing and dementia rooms and 40 extra care units, with associated support facilities, on a site at Gradwell End, off Mill Lane.

The appeal against refusal of the so-called Gradwell Park care facility has been made by the Retirement Villages Group Ltd.

Local resident Adam Walker has long been an opponent of the application. He said: “It is vital that the needs of this vulnerable group of residents, and in particular those of the partners of people suffering from dementia and allied conditions, are met at appropriate locations.

“The answer to the question ‘Are those needs appropriately met by creating a large new facility at an isolated greenfield location on the edge of a village with very few facilities?’ must be a resounding ‘No!’”

Mr Walker said there was “no case” for considering the site as brownfield. It was sold as greenfield by the NHS and there have never been any structures, residential or other, on the site proposed for development.

He said: “The proposal would result in a very large new development in the countryside, in an unsustainable location and not in conformity with any of the planning policy exceptions for new development in the countryside.

“The isolated location is considered inappropriate for the uses proposed and the need for a development of this type and scale is not sufficient to override the strong presumption against major development in a rural location such as this which is poorly served by local amenities and facilities.”

Mr Walker added: “The proposal would result in a considerable intensification of built form, unacceptably spreading development well beyond the planning boundary and, in view of the size, scale, floor area, height, layout and indicative design, would detract from the rural character and appearance, and the intrinsic landscape value of the area.”

He said the proposed development would significantly increase traffic in the area and it was “financially non-viable”, providing private nursing only for those who can afford it.

There was no overriding local need, he said, there were insufficient amenities within a several mile radius and transport links were poor.

The location would also mean that few if any staff would be recruited from communities within walking or safe cycling distance of the site, he argued.