New care home to be built in Ringmer

Harvard House, Ringmer
Harvard House, Ringmer

A family-run company plans to build a 60 bed care home in Ringmer on the site of the former county council run Harvard House.

Galleon Care Homes has acquired the site and plans to build what it describes as a ‘state of the art’ home in Harvard Road which will offer nursing and specialised dementia care.

Galleon is part of Titleworth Healthcare run by Julien Payne.

He said: “This year sees the 35th anniversary of Titleworth Healthcare - the company my parents, Richard and Rosemary Payne, set up in 1979.

“Embarking on this project is a fabulous way to celebrate the company’s achievements and reinforce our reputation for providing expert specialist care services.”

Richard died in 2004 as his son, Richard, took the helm of the firm. He was eight when Richard opened the first Titleworth Care Home and he has grown up in the business.

Lewes District Council gave planning permission for the unoccupied home to be knocked down several years ago and a gave consent for a new care home to be built.

But the original scheme came in for criticism by local people and 12 letters of objection were received from residents.

They were concerned about an unreasonable increase in the size of the home and potentially dangerous volumes of traffic movement.

There were also worries that the new building would not be in keeping and that there would be loss of privacy, light pollution and increased noise pollution. There was also a petition to preserve the tree at the front of the site.

But amendments and a revised application were wholeheartedly supported by Ringmer parish councillors who noted substantial changes had been made to avoid the home overlooking neighbours and also that access to the site had been improved.

As a result, opposition became more muted and there was a letter of support saying the care home would provide a much needed facility, create jobs and boost the building industry.

At the time the district council’s planning committee members heard that the council’s tree officer did not consider the honey locust tree to be of sufficient worth to warrant a tree preservation order.

The new home will provide 30 bedrooms for nursing care and 30 for dementia care.

The county council highlighted the need to provide facilities such as these to meet needs of an ageing population, predicted to increase to 37.4 per cent of the local population by 2026.

The new home should open in summer 2016.