Revised plans for new homes at King Edward VII Estate near Easebourne

Fresh plans for new housing at the King Edward VII estate near Easebourne have been submitted.

Fresh plans for new housing at the King Edward VII estate near Easebourne have been submitted.

Permission is being sought for extra care homes, 84 at Kings Green East and 14 at Superintendent’s Drive, alongside changes to the Grade II* former chapel building so it can be used as a restaurant with a cafe and shop.

Enabling development was approved in 2011 to ensure the restoration and maintenance of a number of heritage assets at the estate including refurbishment and conversation of the main sanatorium building to private apartments.

Proposed design of new homes at Kings Green East

Since then a number of applications have been submitted for amendments to various parcels.

Two applications, one for 93 dwellings on Kings Green East, and another for 18 homes at Superintendent’s Drive, were both refused by the South Downs National Park Authority back in January 2020.

The applicant argued the plans were enabling development top facilitate the fitting out and use of the chapel as a community facility.

But planning officers found the schemes were not appropriate enabling development, while members compared the designs to a university campus and modern office park.

Proposed new homes at Superintendent's Drive

Developers have gone back to the drawing board and submitted revised plans to the SDNPA.

The application have been lodged on behalf of PineBridge Benson Elliot where Elysian Residences is the operating partner.

According to the documents submitted: “In terms of quantum of development, a slight increase from that previously approved is required in order to achieve a viable number of units and afford a level of care required by the retirement community prosed to occupy the C2 extra care accommodation.

“The design has however been considered carefully to ensure that there is no negative impact on the heritage asset or on the wider heritage and landscape character of the site, where the building footprint and heights remain consistent with that previously consented.”

Proposed new homes at Kings Green East

The proposed Kings Green East development is set around a central landscaped green space and includes a reception building featuring a range of administration, social and wellbeing facilities.

These include a concierge, lounge, gym, care team hub offering 24-hour care by trained staff, and staff facilities. A standalone ‘village hall’ is proposed featuring a multipurpose room and ancillary facilities.

Meanwhile the 14 homes at Superintendent’s Drive would be arranged in two separate terraced rows.

The chapel has recently been extended to provide a swimming pool and gym for estate residents. The applicant argues the refurbished and renovated chapel is seen as an ‘integral part’ of the senior living development.

Planned 'village hall' at Kings Green East

The original fabric of the chapel as a whole would be preserved, with new services and furniture introduced ‘with very limited impact on the fabric’.

A new kitchen would be located in the chancel area and toilets added to the entrance blocks at the end of both naves.

The west nave would be used as restaurant with around 60 covers and the east nave would host a cafe bar with lounge seating and a small shop.

To view the application visit https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/planning using code 21/06432/FUL.

Listed building consent is also sought for the changes to the chapel (21/06433/LIS) and a variation of condition relating to a previous approval for minor amendments, including to the layout and location of residential units (21/05962/CND).

History of estate

Conversion plans for the chapel

The King Edward VII Hospital, including the chapel, was built as a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1903 under the patronage of King Edward VII.

Extensive Gertrude Jekyll-designed gardens were established around the chapel. Much of the landscaping works were undertaken by the sanatorium patients as part of their treatments.

By the 1940s, the sanatorium changed its services to general surgery and cancer care as tuberculosis had been eradicated. Several unsympathetic extensions were made, such as the x-ray unit and the Geoffrey Marshall wing which obscured a significant amount of the views to and from the chapel.

These extension have now been demolished.

In 1973, the chapel along with the sanatorium, lodge and engine house, were designated Grade II listed status. In 2003 the chapel and the sanatorium were upgraded to Grade II* listed status.

The chapel has been unoccupied since the closure of the hospital in 2006. From this time the building has been subject to water incursion, which has caused considerable damage. For this reason, the chapel was added to Historic England ‘Buildings at Risk’ register

The main former converted sanitorium building