30 years ago - West Grinstead pub to be turned into Little Chef


From the West Sussex County Times of Friday, February 22, 1985.

A bid by Trusthouse Forte Ltd to convert the old Tabby Cat pub at West Grinstead into a Little Chef restaurant was approved by planners.

Two previous applications for a restaurant on the site were refused on access grounds.

It was feared that vehicles turning into the site, on the A272, or leaving the car park could be involved in accidents because of poor visibility.

However Horsham planners heard that the county surveyor was now of the opinion that access into and out of the car park was acceptable.

This was because, on the new application, the car park would be slightly higher than is normally required for access onto a class one road, and because the road would be marked so preventing vehicles from queuing up to enter the car park.

Miss Eleanor Moore, planning officer, said: “The issue hangs on highway matters. Now that the county surveyor has withdrawn his objections, there is no reason for refusing the application.’’

It was agreed to grant the application subject to certain conditions.

These were:

• That the restaurant should only be open between 7am and 10pm.

• That within a month a planting scheme, to screen the car park for 30 cars, be submitted and that the scheme be implemented before the end of the next planting season, following the completion of the development.

• That there is adequate visibility both east and west.

Work on the new £24 million Mid Sussex Hospital for the physically and mentally ill is under way.

The 314 bed hospital due for completion in spring 1989, is being built in the grounds of St Francis Hospital, Haywards Heath.

The new hospital will serve 125,000 people in the southern half of the Mid Downs health district – Haywards Heath, Cuckfield, Burgess Hill and the surrounding villages.

It will replace Cuckfield Hospital, which has old buildings and hutted wards and no room on the site for expansion.

All the services of a modern district general hospital will be provided, including:

• 314 beds in 12 wards divided into small bays and single rooms.

• a 25 place adult care ward.

• a rehabilitation department with speech therapy facilities and a hydrotherapy pool.

• a ten cot special care baby unit.

• four operating theatres.

• four X-ray rooms and an ultrasound unit.

• an accident and emergency department.

• an outpatients department.

• an intensive therapy/coronary care unit.

• departments of pathology and pharmacy.

• hospital chapel.

In addition, there will be a postgraduate medical centre and staff crèche within the hospital.

Work on the Mid Sussex Hospital itself will begin in autumn.

By the end of 1988, the hospital should be finished and after equipping and preparing, it should take its first patients early in 1989.

An application to construct a 130 foot high radio communications mast at Truleigh near Upper Beeding, was given the go ahead by Horsham District Council’s planning committee, despite fears about its impact on the Downs and the transmission of micro-waves.

The application for the mast, which will have 17 dishes attached to it, was made on behalf of British Telecom.

At the base of the mast there will be a building to house the micro-wave equipment. The complex will be enclosed behind a high wire security fence.

Members heard that the mast would form part of the south-east telecommunications network, eventually linking up with the new international satellite earth station near Wincanton.

Truleigh Hill was chosen as the site because micro-wave relay stations need a constant ‘line of sight’ to other masts. Consequently they have to be located on high ground, and British Telecom felt that Truleigh Hill was the best location.

Although the site is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, officers pointed out that the building and the mast would, to a degree, be hidden from sight by the Downs and by trees which would be planted.