Decision due on East Sussex ‘leisure and commercial park’

Proposals to build a ‘leisure and commercial park’ in Plumpton Green are set to go in front of Lewes planners next week.
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On Wednesday (December 6), Lewes District Council’s planning committee is due to consider an outline application seeking to develop land to the north of the Old Brickworks in Station Road — a site adjacent to the Plough Inn.

While the detailed plans would come at a later stage, indicative drawings show how the site could include 11 commercial units, eight studio/workshop spaces, a restaurant, a wellness centre and an office building, as well as space for both a vineyard and a community orchard.

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In a report recommending the committee approve the plans, a Lewes planning officer said: “The proposed development represents an appropriate use of the land and would integrate well with the existing employment site to the south, whilst preserving the setting of the wider rural environment.

The Station Road, Plumpton, site. Picture: ContributedThe Station Road, Plumpton, site. Picture: Contributed
The Station Road, Plumpton, site. Picture: Contributed

“This would be achieved without adverse impact upon the amenities of neighbouring residents.

“As well as being contiguous with the existing employment site, it would deliver much needed amenities for rural citizens within close proximity of acceptable road, rail, and bus links.”The application is also supported by Plumpton Parish Council. In a statement included in the report to the committee, a spokesman for the parish council said: “[The development] would bring certainty to this site and provide employment and wellbeing amenities to Plumpton. It would also provide two community areas to the north of the field bordering the ‘Plough’.

“Plumpton Parish Council (PPC) notes that none of the residents neighbouring the site have objected and all have been consulted by Bedford Park Developments.”

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They add: “PPC remains opposed to any residential housing development north of the police house and would want to be reassured that there is no part of the permission that would allow residential use.”

Complicating matters, however, is the fact that part of the site has been allocated as a Gypsy and Traveller site within the Lewes Local Plan. Officers say this use has not (and is unlikely to) come into reality, not least because the landowner “is not now supporting this allocation.”

The council has also previously approved plans to develop the land as an equestrian facility for the treatment and recuperation of race/sports horses. While a contradictory plan, officers say this previous planning approval lends weight to an alternative use of the site.

Even so, approval of the scheme would be a departure from the Local Plan, so will require committee endorsement to move ahead.

For further information on the proposals see application reference LW/23/0583 on the Lewes District Council website.