Developments for Sompting
The Sompting Estate is mostly within Adur District, with a small amount of land in Worthing Borough. The October 2016 Adur District Local Plan submission can be read here. The Adur Local Plan and the Sompting Neighbourhood Plan have allocated some land on Sompting Estate's Church Farm for housing. The Estate recognizes the need for more local housing including affordable housing and is cooperating with the planners and with developers Persimmon Homes who intend to deliver the policy.
The Estate has been working with others in the local community to develop ideas for community benefits which can be funded by the developments, including a community facility in the form of Sustainable Sussex's Sompting Community Farm, conservation access in the form of a Nature Trail going into the north end of the Cokeham Brooks Site of Nature Conservation Importance, and a community orchard. Suggestions are welcome for how these might best be realized. Longer term the land sale will enable the Estate to invest to create local interest and employment: we are looking at projects including a Sompting vineyard, holidaying opportunities in the Sompting Downs, and a local produce shop and visitor centre.
A public consultation was held on 10th October, attended by over 200 local residents, after the nearest 1000 houses had had leaflets delivered. Details can be seen on www.landatwestsompting.co.uk .
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
Sompting Estate's developments, past present and future
Sompting Estate has always been both farming based, and also concerned with developing the rural economy and contributing to community life. We are proud of a succession of developments. We have built many barns and houses over our 250 years in the Parish. Some examples of our projects between 1800 and the present are:
- Lychpole Farmhouse, now listed, and its model farm buildings were built by the Estate in 1799-1801; recently restored.
- Sompting Abbotts the present house, now a school, was built by the Estate in the 1850s. Numerous older houses in Sompting Parish were built by the Estate for people employed on the land. Some housing estate development for the communityy was also provided in the twentieth century.
- The Village Hall was built by the Estate in 1889 as reading and recreation rooms for the community
- The Sompting Downs Barn was converted from a derelict open fronted cattle shed in 2009
- Middle Yard Barn, on Lambleys Lane, our only surviving threshing barn, was rescued by being converted to workshop and offices for Nutshell Construction in 2012
- Green energy: solar panels, insulation and air source heat pumps were installed at various of the farm houses in 2011-12.
- A new Silage Barn was built to meet the farm business's needs at Lychpole Farm in 2013
- A new borehole was built on Lychpole Farm in 2014, to sustainably provide local water for the local livestock on the downs
- A new Livestock Handling Barn was built at Lychpole Farm in 2015, on the site of the old Lychpole threshing barn which fell down in the 1987 Great Storm; restoring the character of an enclosed working farmyard to the setting of the remaining old buildings, and making it much safer and easier for farm staff to look after the sheep and cattle.
- The Estate's grainstore on Lambleys Lane was renovated in 2016, enhancing its capacity, cleanliness and mechanical handling efficiency by providing bays with concrete side walls and floors accessed by roller doors.
The present generation of the Estate family have made it a priority to bring the existing farmland, woodland, wildlife habitats and buildings of the Estate into favourable condition and management. To sustain the Estate and its work into the future, we also need to be enterprising and economically active. Our current thinking about possibilities for the future is outlined in the draft Estate Plan below.
We aspire to work with partners to create a Community Farm, a Community Orchard, to recommence local vegetable production, create new public access and landscape habitat features, a vineyard, holiday opportunities, and eventually a farm shop and visitor centre. We will welcome comments and ideas about these via the Contact Us page.
You can read more about the Estate and what we do for Sompting's countryside on our Farming, Nature and History pages. If we can continue to invest locally through developments such as these, we will be able to go on helping to keep Sompting's natural environment and rural economy in good heart - perhaps even for another 250 years.
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