20 January 2014

Master Plan to fulfil the potential of Stanmer Park

Exciting plans to enhance and improve Stanmer Park, restoring its historic buildings and creating an impressive gateway to the South Downs National Park, are being drawn up.

Residents can play a crucial role in shaping a new Master Plan for Stanmer Park, one of the city’s most popular and well loved open spaces. The plan, which aims to maximise the potential of the park, will form the centrepiece of a bid for heritage lottery funding.

The council is working with the South Downs National Park Authority, Stanmer Preservation Society and other interested groups to discuss and to plan how the estate could be restored, protected and enhanced over the next 10 years.

Members of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee have given the go ahead for a consultation to be launched so that residents can have their say on the Master Plan.

Consultation will begin in March with a view to submitting a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding under the Parks for People fund next August.

Stanmer Estate and Country Park dates back to the 18th century and has many historical features and buildings. With its woodland walks and extensive open land, the park is widely used by both residents and visitors for sports and other leisure activities, including several major events.

The park is also home to a community of residents living in Stanmer Village and cottages around the estate, and is a base for several businesses and organisations.

The aim of the Master Plan is to restore and protect Stanmer Park’s historic buildings and landscape, enhance its natural features, and addresses issues such as parking and accessibility.

Proposals could include the restoration of the Home Farm, a council owned Grade II listed site near the village for a number of uses including a visitor centre, food shop for local produce, craft workshops and offices, and community space.

Initial work began in April 2012 launched an investigation into the feasibility of refurbishing Home Farm as a gateway to the National Park. This included producing a Landscape Vision for Stanmer Park. In June this year, hundreds of residents took part in an information gathering exercise for determine how people used the park.

Cllr Pete West, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “Stanmer Park Estate is well loved by residents who are keen to see it restored and enhanced for future generations. With its beautiful setting and historic buildings, the park has huge potential to become an exciting and vibrant gateway to the new national park.

“We know there is widespread support from local people keen to contribute to any plans, and I am keen to move forward with a bid to attract vital funding to support this exciting project.”