Estate developments, past 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.
- 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 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 more favourable condition and management.
Now, to sustain the Estate and its work into the future, we need to diversify our business. Because of the funds that we may receive from selling the land that the District Council requires to meet housing needs, we can aim to invest in providing a community farm and orchard and new public access and landscape habitat features, at the same time as diversifying into local fruit and vegetable production, a vineyard, holiday opportunities, and eventually a farm shop and visitor centre.
Our current thinking about possibilities for the future is outlined in more detail in the Local Strategic Vision document which we have offered for consultation alongside the Sompting Parish Neighbourhood Plan. We will welcome comments via the Contact Us page.
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.