Decision on new hospice and 600 homes next week

Artist's impression of new homes in Pease Pottage development (photo from Mid Sussex DC's planning portal). SUS-161117-163648001
Artist's impression of new homes in Pease Pottage development (photo from Mid Sussex DC's planning portal). SUS-161117-163648001

Plans for a new hospice and 600 homes on the edge of Pease Pottage could be decided next week.

Thakeham Homes are looking to develop a site east of Brighton Road, which would mean a new home for Crawley’s St Catherine’s Hospice, a primary school, community building, cafe, and retail unit.

Artist's impression of new homes in Pease Pottage development (photo from Mid Sussex DC's planning portal). SUS-161117-163633001

Artist's impression of new homes in Pease Pottage development (photo from Mid Sussex DC's planning portal). SUS-161117-163633001

Mid Sussex District Council’s planning officers are recommending the scheme be approved when the authority’s District Planning Committee meets next Thursday (November 24).

A statement on St Catherine’s website said: “This is a really exciting time for St Catherine’s, as if the council approves the plans we can start taking things forward.

“We know that more and more terminally ill people need our expert end of life care, and along with raising more money, if we’re going to reach everyone who needs us we need a bigger hospice.

“Planning meetings are open to the public, so if you’d like to attend and support St Catherine’s, please do join us.

“We have ribbons you can wear to show your support - just call Alison Crouch in the St Catherine’s communications team on 01293 447333 or email alisoncrouch@stch.org.uk if you’d like one.”

The project for a new hospital was made possible thanks to donations from the community including donations from John Shemeld, who left the charity a legacy of £6 million, and Bill Bridges who gifted the organisation five acres of a larger 112 acre development, worth approximately £5 million.

While the council has received 28 letters of objection it has also received 155 in support of the scheme, and since plans were revised another 12 objecting and three supporting have been sent in.

Crawley Borough Council, Slaugham Parish Council, The Woodland Trust, and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have all objected to the planning application.

But officers said in their report: “The site’s contribution to the district housing need is a significant material consideration.

“The economic benefits that the development generates, including the job creation during the construction and operational phases and additional spend within the local economy post construction, are matters that should also attract significant weight.

“There are also social benefits arising from the provision of new housing (both market and affordable), a new primary school, community space and a hospice facility which will allow for the much needed expansion of the existing St Catherine’s Hospice.”

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