Fierce opposition to care facility in South Chailey


Opposition to the building of a controversial care facility in South Chailey is growing.

A new planning application has been submitted to Lewes District Council by the Retirement Villages Group Ltd.

It proposes a 40-bed nursing and dementia care home and 40 extra care apartments and cottages. Residents would be aged 65 and over.

The proposed facility, known as Gradwell Park, has been earmarked for a site at Gradwell End, Mill Road.

Local resident Adam Walker described the scheme as “substantial, inappropriate and speculative”.

Members of Chailey Parish Council, meeting on Tuesday, voted to oppose the Gradwell Park development.

East Chiltington Parish Council was due to consider the matter last night (Thursday) and it will be on the agenda for both Plumpton and Hamsey Parish Councils at meetings next week.

Mr Walker, along with fellow campaigners Alan Robson and Richard Hills, recently discussed the matter with Lewes MP Norman Baker, who is opposed to the scheme.

Forty letters of objection have been received so far.

Mr Walker said the latest application is resulting in considerable cost to the public purse “due to planning department staff having to deal with the complexity of this protracted and involved application”.

He continued: “It doesn’t stop there. If the development is built there will be practical problems for the residents and extra financial burdens on the taxpayer forever more.

“Action needs to be taken to prevent this development being given approval. This is not a localised issue impacting only on the immediate neighbours of this vast proposed development; it will also adversely affect the wider community during the three-plus years of the site’s construction.”

Development director David Phillips said: “We are persisting with this application because our own research and that of the experts in this field show that there is a real need for this type of care service in this part of the district.

“Following discussions with the local community and Adult Social Care, we have submitted a more modest scheme in comparison to the previous application which we believe sits sensitively within the local setting.

“This will be a care facility providing progressive support for older people as their own or their spouse’s health deteriorates. The range of provision will allow residents to live in an environment that is as supportive as their individual care needs require – an arrangement which is relatively rare within the retirement sector.”