Fresh bid in retirement village plan for South Chailey


Controversial plans for the so-called “village within a village” at South Chailey have surfaced again a bare seven months after they were thrown out.

Developer Retirement Villages Ltd has revealed a much scaled-down proposal for the Gradwell End site, off Mill Lane.

It has reduced by about a third its original scheme for an elerly care facility, which goes on display for public comment later this month.

There was widespread local opposition last time around but now the applicant has “listened to feedback” from residents and is scaling down its new scheme by 30 per cent for a 40-bed care home and 40 extra care apartments and cottages.

Jon Gooding, chief executive at Retirement Villages Ltd, said: “When we invest in communities we want to do so with the goodwill of local people.

“We understand the resistance to new development but we believe that we can achieve a balance between this and the need for first class facilities for older people and jobs in the local community.”

The company is inviting local people to attend an exhibition in Chailey Village Hall on February 15 between 2–9pm and on February 16 between 10am-5pm.

Architects, planning and transport consultants, as well as staff from Retirement Villages, will be present to answer people’s queries.

There will be a model of the proposed facility set within the village context and detailed drawings to provide a clear illustration of what this scheme will look like once built.

Retirement Villages Ltd is the leading provider of retirement villages in the UK. It has 13 existing villages and has been delivering this service for 30 years.

It expects that this revised scheme, if approved, will create approximately 69 localjobs. The new application is likely to be submitted to Lewes District Council by the end of March.

Planning permission was refused by Lewes District Council in June last year because of the scale of the development in an area which already hosts Chailey School and the doctors’ surgery.

Some 5,000 leaflets are being delivered in the area by Retirement Villages Ltd explaining the new proposal in detail.