Press Release Oct 2017: ‘Bright future for Sompting’ to be funded by new homes
“A community farm, nature trail and community orchard, along with more accessible green space and playing fields, will be the beginning of a bright new future for Sompting village,” says Sompting Estate Trustee Mike Tristram. “Sompting’s community will be bigger, but it will be better connected to the countryside.”
These new access opportunities close to the houses, funded by the development in Adur’s Local Plan, will complement the planned public footpath down to a new stream made by the ‘EPIC’ project. But the benefits the new homes could bring for Sompting go even further than the Local Plan.
“The Trustees accept that more homes are needed, so some farmland has to go”, says Mike. “The exciting thing for us is the opportunity we will have to invest in the parish, in ways that will create jobs and bring pride and pleasure to Sompting.
“Separately to the Local Plan site, we are also hoping to invest in a vineyard, a holidays business, and a local produce shop and café in the Sompting downs. Nearer the village we plan to bring back more mixed farming including conservation cattle grazing and vegetable growing, and plant more hedges and trees. These changes will be good for wildlife and landscape, and good for people.”
On 10th October, more than 200 residents viewed plans for up to 520 new homes, playing pitches, open space, community facilities and ecological improvements at ‘West Sompting’, presented by the Sompting Estate and Persimmon Homes at Sompting’s Harriet Johnson Centre. “We were delighted that many local people took the opportunity to comment on our proposals,” said Matt Richardson, Land and Planning Manager for Persimmon Homes Thames Valley. “The construction jobs will bring a much-needed boost to the local economy. To help meet local housing and community needs sustainably, the development will also make financial contributions to traffic and social infrastructure, and will include 30% affordable homes.”
A surprise many residents had not expected to find in the consultation, was the unique community facilities proposal displayed by Sustainable Sussex. “Wonderful!” was one councillor’s response. “Sustainable Sussex’s partnership with the 250-year-old Sompting Estate makes this an exciting project for Sompting’s future,” said Mike Tristram. “They are passionate about connecting people with each other and helping them connect sustainably with nature. That’s what it takes to make a real success of imaginative facilities like a community farm, nature trail and orchard.”
Keith Colin of Sustainable Sussex said: “The facilities we hope to create with this funding will be there for everyone in Sompting. People who want to volunteer with us, people who need to learn skills and grow in confidence, young and old, people who want to learn about and enjoy their natural environment more. We have learned with our Sussex Chilli Farm how much good it can do people to get involved with the land, with horticultural growing, with nature, in groups with all kinds of abilities and experience. We are looking forward to doing this on a larger scale, and welcoming people in to the community farm and orchard.”
“Contact with nature is so important for personal well-being,” agreed Keith’s partner, Liane Webb of Sustainable Sussex and The Sustainable Mind. “The Nature Trail, with a boardwalk and pond-dipping area, will be like Sompting’s own Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. And the community farm will allow people contact with animals.”
People have commented on the article asking what about traffic, GP surgeries, schools?
This article was about the less-usual community benefits you would not normally expect to be associated with a typical housing development, which will be delivered by Sompting Estate and Sustainable Sussex. But of course the normal types of community benefit are also part of the picture. The article mentioned 'financial contributions to traffic and social infrastructure', and this is where those three things come in.
Persimmon Homes and the Sompting Estate will now be considering the community’s responses to the consultation, before submitting a planning application.
For more information, contact:
Sustainable Sussex www.sustainablesussex.org
Keith Colin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liane Webb: email@example.com
More information about the West Sompting development proposals
Contact details for Persimmon Homes/Turleys
Fareeda Ahmed firstname.lastname@example.org