Scheme ‘too close to’ historic site in Herstmonceux

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Concerns have been raised about the proximity of a proposed housing development to a historical building in Herstmonceux.

The Old Steam House, along with Rudyard Kipling’s Batemans in Burwash, is the only surviving evidence of early electricity generating industries in Sussex. It was placed on a Monument Protection Programme by English Heritage.

But the Lime Park Heritage Trust which is preserving the building for a museum, says it is concerned this has been ignored in Herstmonceux Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan, which proposes to build 70 houses at Lime Cross, adjacent to the building. It said the parish council has a duty to protect the historic building.

Leslie Grant, from the Lime Park Heritage Trust, said: “The proposed development of such a massive estate adjacent to a historic site is nothing short of planning madness, when there are other sites that will not harm the archeological setting. It would be like putting Batemans in the middle of a modern housing estate. Batemans and Battersea Power Station are the two other buildings of national importance on the same MMP as our museum.”

A spokeswoman for the parish council said: “At the end of the consultation period, the comments will be recorded, analysed and collated and residents will have an opportunity to comment on any changes to the final version of the plan before it is independently examined. The comments from representatives of Lime Park Heritage Trust will be considered with all other responses from residents.”

The consultation ends today (Friday January 24).