Figures back Kingswood development planned near Adversane

Plans for a new settlement near Adversane has been backed by West Sussex figures in education, business and the rural economy.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 2:36 pm
Artist's impression from Kingswood masterplan document

Plans for a new settlement near Adversane has been backed by West Sussex figures in education, business and the rural economy.

Our Place is proposing up to 2,850 homes alongside new schools, a hotel, neighbourhood centres and more than 44 hectares of green space.

But campaign group BigSTAND has been fighting the proposals with an online petition having received more than 2,700 signatures.

The Kingswood site is one of a number of potential strategic sites being promoted for inclusion as part of Horsham District Council’s local plan review.

As part of its case to be allocated by HDC, the developer has highlighted a number of recent supporting statements made by various figures in West Sussex.

Shelagh Legrave, is chief executive of the Chichester College Group, which runs the nearby Brinsbury College campus.

In a recent letter to HDC, she said: “There has never been a more important time to choose something that is deliverable, infrastructure-led, education-centred, embraces the environment, provides opportunity for economic growth and is truly forward looking. On behalf of Chichester College Group, I truly believe that Kingswood (Land at Adversane) will do just that.”

She added: “With a significant budget for infrastructure improvements and underpinned by a robust transport strategy developed closely with the county council, Kingswood will have a wide range of benefits for our Brinsbury campus, not to mention future generations.”

In a letter to Our Place, Roger Paterson, rural economy champion and chairman of the Rural West Sussex Partnership, drew attention to the ambition for more business space in the area.

He said: “We have long identified the A29 corridor and land to the east of it as being of importance to the rural economy as it presents a strategically important zone for commercial use. This zone has started to be occupied by businesses such as Hepworths Brewery and there are plans (albeit under post-Covid consideration) for Harwoods to locate their operation there. The land opposite Brinsbury college has previously been identified as a possible site for a business innovation centre.”

As part of its proposals Our Place wants to create a new job for every new home built.

Mike Herd, the former director of the Sussex Innovation Centre who now sits on the Board of the Alpha Group, said: “Entrepreneurship is always key to creating new opportunities, and this will be more important than ever in the wake of the pandemic.

“Creating a dynamic entrepreneurial community at Kingswood, where business is part of living and practical transport solutions encourage flexible working will be vital for the growth ambitions for the types of companies I work with; companies that are often forced to establish their businesses far from where they live, because of a lack of critical mass, infrastructure and suitable workspaces.

“A place like Kingswood would give employers and employees confidence that there are career opportunities locally.”