Proposals to build a ‘leisure and commercial park’ have gained the go ahead. 

On Wednesday (December 6), Lewes District Council’s planning committee approved an outline application seeking to develop land to the north of the Old Brickworks in Station Road in Plumpton Green — a site adjacent to the Plough Inn.

While the detailed plans are set to come at a later stage, indicative drawings show how the site could include eleven commercial units, eight studio/workshop spaces, a restaurant, a wellness centre and an office building, as well as space for both a vineyard and a community orchard.

The proposals had seen local support, including from Plumpton Parish Council and representatives of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). 

Speaking at the meeting, Plumpton parish councillor Nick Beaumont said: “I’m happy to be in front of this committee able to support a planning application. The applicant in this case was very collaborative from the very start, presenting the plans early in the process and keen to get the view of residents via the parish council.

“In our neighbourhood plan, made in 2018, we made clear that proposals to expand local employment opportunities would be supported subject to development respecting local character, residential amenity and highway safety. The parish council believes this application complies with this policy.”

These views were echoed by committee members, who unanimously approved the scheme following discussion.

The application’s main complication had been the site’s formal allocation as a Gypsy and Traveller site within the Lewes Local Plan. However, this use had not (and officers said was unlikely to) become reality, not least because this proposals was no longer supported by the landowner.

The council has also previously approved plans to develop the land as an equestrian facility for the treatment and recuperation of race/sports horses. While a contradictory plan, officers said this previous planning approval gave weight to an alternative use of the site.

Officers also told the committee they were ‘confident’ that alternative Gypsy and Traveller provision could be found within the district.

For further information on the proposals see application reference LW/23/0583 on the Lewes District Council website.