What a lovely event it was!

posted Sep 17, 2017, 1:49 PM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

The Donkey Wheel Well event last weekend was a great success! The flowers everywhere were gorgeous, the choirs brought glorious voices back into the church again, and we raised money for SPS and for WaterAid! Huge congratulations to all who gave so much of their time and energy.

Happening on Sunday 10 September!

posted Sep 8, 2017, 8:06 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society   [ updated Sep 8, 2017, 9:42 AM ]

Don't forget his is happening at Stanmer this Sunday!

There will be a lovely line-up of events:
10.30am: A water blessing with Lynne Ridden in the Donkey Well House
11.00 and 12.30 - guided tours to the water catch 
1.00pm story telling  
1.30 - guided tour to the water catch 
2.30 - story telling  
3.00 - Steiner School Community Choir
3.30 - Acabellas will sing outside the Donkey Well House

Come and celebrate water in Stanmer Park! Discover the Donkey Wheel Well.

posted Aug 9, 2017, 1:17 PM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society   [ updated Aug 9, 2017, 1:20 PM ]

Sunday 10th September from 10am to 4pm – Sources, stories and songs of water in Stanmer Park ...

STOP PRESS!! Great news!

posted Aug 8, 2017, 10:36 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society   [ updated Aug 8, 2017, 10:38 AM ]

Mike Holland has withdrawn his application for consent and agreed to reinstate the historic part of the Old Stable Block destroyed in his development.

Tim Slaney, Director of Planning for the South Downs National Park Authority, said:

"We are pleased that the applicant has withdrawn these applications and also advised us that they intend to restore that part of the listed building.

"We have asked the applicant to submit the necessary listed building application to allow this work to take place and encourage them to work closely with us to make sure that restoration is as accurate as possible.

"We take breaches of planning seriously and have advised that should the applicant fail to submit this application by the end of September we will look to take further enforcement action.”

This is an excellent result and SPS are delighted to have been a part of the work to achieve it.

Old Stable Block update!

posted Aug 4, 2017, 3:02 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society   [ updated Aug 4, 2017, 3:07 AM ]

As many of you will know, Stanmer Preservation Society has been opposing retrospective planning consent for part of the old Stable Block in Stanmer Park, which was developed by Mike Holland without due regard for the historic stabling and fittings, which was required by the original consent.

SPS has been assisting SDNPA by providing reference material that could enable the possible reinstatement of the historic fittings that were destroyed by the development.

We are heartened to report that the SDNPA planning officer’s recommendation to the forthcoming Planning Committee Meeting on 10 August 2017 supports our objectives in that it recommends refusal of planning consent, which is definitely a step in the right direction! 

We're still looking for photos of the old Stable Block interior!

posted Jun 5, 2017, 11:14 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

Do you have any photos like these? They could be invaluable to us in our fight to get the old stabling reinstated. If you have any information, photographs or memories about the stabling please let us know as soon as possible!

Wanted: photographs of the Stanmer Old Stable Block interior

posted Feb 18, 2017, 9:59 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

SPS has won the chance to gather evidence to reconstruct the old stabling. Can you help?

When Mike Holland was finally granted planning permission for the conversion of the old stable block to dwellings in 2012 there was one part of the remaining stabling that was to be retained and not converted, as it was considered to have considerable historic value. In addition, an adjoining area was to be converted into a cycle store for the buildings. These were conditions of the permission. 

The stabling was considered so valuable as it was a very rare original example of a change in the way that horses were managed in the late 18thC, in that these were internal loose-boxes which effectively provided a chill-out zone for foaling mares, or horses such as heavy hunters who needed a recuperation period after unaccustomed strenuous exercise.

In spite of this, Mr Holland went ahead and converted this area of the Old Stable Block into a studio flat, and turned the planned cycle store into the kitchen and ensuite. He applied in August 2016 for retrospective permission for this work and a relocation of the proposed cycle store to the old boiler room (museum).

On Thursday 9th February SPS spoke at South Downs National Park Authority against this application, requesting that the committee postponed their decision until further information could be obtained about how this stabling and its fitting looked before conversion took place, with the aim of a possible re-construction, which is within their remit.

You will be pleased to know that the planning committee were prepared to support this request and SPS will be working with the planning officers to gather as much information as possible about the stabling, with a view to requiring Mr Holland to install a reconstruction of the old stabling destroyed during the conversion.

If you have any information, photographs or memories about the stabling please let us know as soon as possible!

Preserving trees at Stanmer - update

posted Feb 2, 2017, 11:37 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

Over the past few weeks, some of the trees in Stanmer Park have been decked with white ribbons. These were attached by Stanmer Preservation Society and members of the public to draw attention to trees that might be felled or moved in plans proposed by Brighton and Hove County Council’s Parks Project to restore part of Stanmer to an 18th century layout.

Some of these trees are memorial trees, planted by friends and family in memory of loved ones. Others are simply established trees that members of the public appreciate and do not wish to lose. The ribbons have generated public awareness and concern.

The Council has now assured the SPS that without agreement from donors, no memorial tree will be felled or moved

A spokesperson from the council said;

“Where we are unable to identify the donor, the tree will remain and in all scenarios, agreement with the donors will be a prerequisite before taking any action.”

With this assurance, the SPS supports the council’s action to remove the ribbons from the memorial trees and replace them with a notice encouraging owners to contact the Parks Project Team regarding the Stanmer Park restoration proposals.

With regard to other trees in the park, The Council says that the SPS and other stakeholders will be involved in discussions going forward and over the course of the restoration, the Restoration Project will be planting at least 250 new trees back into the Stanmer landscape.

SPS Chair, Al Brookes, looks forward to further discussion. “Stanmer has been neglected for too long and is in significant need of investment – and this project is an opportunity to see some positive developments. There may be plenty more discussion, challenge and debate to come, but the SPS will be working closely with Cityparks and other stakeholders to ensure we get the best possible future for the park we all value so much.”

Further details about the broader Restoration Project can be found at the Parks and green spaces web page

If you have any queries about specific trees in Stanmer, you can contact the Parks Project Team at or call 01273 293 007. 

Nothing 'regular' about loss of historic stabling

posted Jan 30, 2017, 8:25 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

A Planning Application has been submitted for 'Regularisation for the change of use of stables to form self contained studio flat.' What this means, basically, is that the part of the old stables in question has already been converted by the developer - destroying the original historic timber fittings in the process - in spite of the fact that permission to develop this area was specifically denied. Planning consent to make this ok is now being sought in retrospect. You can see our response to this application - and add your own - on the South Downs National Park planning page. We've included the full text of our response below:

SPS response to Stable Block Planning Application SDNP/16/04263/FUL 

The Society is shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that the historically valuable stabling has been lost during the residential development of the Stable Block, despite this being specifically omitted from the original planning permission. We wish to fully support comments and statements made by Alma Howell from Historic England and Mr Bill Fairhall.

The Society finds it difficult to understand how it has been possible for works to have progressed to the level where there has there has been effectively (very effectively!) created a studio flat in an area of the stable block that was expressively to be preserved and not included in the development. We would ask why this North East range was submitted to the same damp proofing work as the residential development? It is clear from Phil Purvis' Heritage and Design statement that it had never been the intention of the developer to preserve this unique and valuable feature, which would also have left tangible context to the original use of the buildings for future generations.

Additionally, we note with further disappointment that the adjacent area originally planned as a cycle store appears to have been encompassed into a kitchen and shower room for this accommodation. We presume that this cycle store was shown on the original approved plans as some mitigation towards sustainable transport, which is now lost.

The Society requests that there is an enquiry at the highest level as to why monitoring of the development of this Grade 2* listed building was not to sufficient to halt this destruction and to fully explain how evidence of this historic stabling has been lost.

Clearly it would not be in the best public interest for this application for regularisation of change of use to be approved. Regularisation would also not discourage this or any other developer from flagrantly disregarding planning restrictions.

Although the original timber fittings of the stabling may have been lost, it is presumed that stone and metal fittings, such as door latches and feeding troughs may have been retained. Even if this is not the case, the best possible outcome would be for this area to be reinstated and restored following the photographic evidence that exists and the careful and contextual facsimile be available for public viewing.

It is evidently not in the public interest that this developer should be enabled to profit from their actions in this case and we request in the strongest possible terms that SDNPA insists on the originally approved plans, refuses this regularisation request and demands reinstatement. 

SPS response to developments – Latest TV News

posted Jan 11, 2017, 10:30 AM by SPS Stanmer Preservation Society

YouTube Video

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