Developments

There’s never been a more important time…

The Stanmer Estate is a Grade 2 listed park, which has been on Historic England's At Risk Register for a long time, following many years of neglect and misuse. Historic England has been working with the South Downs National Park Authority (as the planning authority) and Brighton and Hove City Council (as the landowners) to develop a Masterplan to put into place measures to ensure that Stanmer will be removed from the At Risk Register and be protected and self-sustainable into the future.

One project is Brighton and Hove County Council’s proposed development of the agricultural buildings including the Long Barn.

Another – which depends on the Council’s bid for Heritage Lottery Funding – involves significant changes to the face of the Park. We expect to find out any day now whether that bid has been successful. (Update on 9.1.17 - the bid has been successful).

Either way, there has never been a more important time for those who love Stanmer to get involved and speak up. Development is a great opportunity for gains to the Park but also for much to be lost.

Much has already been lost

Over the years, SPS members have witnessed decisions made that have left Stanmer much poorer. For example, in spite of reassurances and promises, Stanmer has lost:

  • the Orangerie in Stanmer House, which has been allowed to disintegrate
  • access to the historic Horse Engine, which is now behind locked gates of the townhouse courtyard
  • the original Stable fittings, which were destroyed during (unapproved) conversion into an extra studio flat
  • Stanmer Museum, which was evicted from its premises behind Stanmer House over three years ago. In spite of frequent reminders of the need, no alternative has yet been agreed by BHCC. As a result, much of Stanmer’s history – artefacts and agricultural equipment - is now in storage or deteriorating in the gardens of village residents.

 So we are determined to ensure that this latest round of development does not add to the list of losses. SPS supports a holistic vision of development for Stanmer but we have some serious concerns about aspects of the current plans, including:

  • Felling of healthy trees
  • Building a new access road and car park at the heart of the park
  • Lack of provision of sustainable transport options
  • Conversion of the Long Barn into offices or accommodation
  • Disregard for the results of public consultation

 A creative future

Stanmer Park is an extraordinary asset that belongs to the people of Brighton and Hove. The SPS calls on the BHCC and SDNPA to re-commit to the original holistic vision for an imaginative development of Stanmer that reflects the results of public consultation and includes:

  • sustainable transport  
  • creative family/community activities and workshops
  • experiential spaces such as farm animal enclosures which would put the historic Home Farmstead into comprehensible context
  • heritage-based learning opportunities including a museum and interpretation centre.

 SPS also believes that in order to guarantee holistic stewardship, Stanmer needs to be managed by a central body made up of people who are not solely members of the Council and commercially interested parties, but a diverse mix of stakeholders providing a truly holistic vision.

How can you get involved?

In the first instance, join the SPS – we’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening and what you can do.

You'll find a more detailed statement of SPS's response to events below.

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SPS Stanmer Preservation Society,
Jan 8, 2017, 4:15 AM
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