Next steps to secure Stanmer's future
Work is progressing on a bid for Lottery funding which could see Stanmer Park restored to its former glory.
The Stanmer Park and Estate Restoration Project aims to restore the park’s landscape, and Grade II listed buildings, protect natural features and safeguard its rare landscapes.
Members of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee have agreed the next stage of the project which includes working up detailed plans, a consultation and engagement programme and a sustainable travel plan.
In July 2014 the council made two applications for Heritage Lottery Funding for Stanmer Park. They were a ‘Heritage Grant’ application to renovate Home Farm, and a ‘Parks for People’ application to restore the Walled Garden and other parts of the Stanmer landscape.
The applications were made as part of a wider, long term plan to restore Stanmer Park.
The Heritage Grant application was unsuccessful, but the Parks for People application resulted in the council being awarded £297,000 to develop proposals. Work is now underway to draw up a final application for stage 2 funding to be submitted by August 2016.
Stanmer Park is a working landscape which includes farming, grazing and food growing. It is also home to residents living in Stanmer Village and a base for several businesses, including the council nursery, South Downs National Park Authority offices and community groups and organisations.
The Stage 2 application includes:
Restoration of the walled garden as a visitor attraction and base for Plumpton College
Restoration of the ‘water catcher’ which used to supply water to Stanmer House, and the Frankland memorial
Restoration of the landscape along the lane from Lower lodges to Stanmer Village
Creating a ‘Greenway’ for pedestrians and cyclists to Stanmer House from the Lower Lodges
Improving the roads, controlling parking and removing informal car parks between the Lower Lodges and Stanmer Village
Placing a kiosk at the entrance of the estate with possible cycle hire.
With the number of visitors to Stanmer Park expected to increase, the council is looking at viable and sustainable ways to manage travel to and within the park.
If committee members approve, council officers will work up detailed transport and parking proposals which will go before councillors later in the year before a public consultation.
Alternative opportunities to fund the restoration of Home Farm are also being explored and will be subject to a further report to Policy & Resources Committee in February. The council is also looking at how offices for the South Downs National Park Authority, who are a key project partner, and the council could be incorporated in the plans, possibly within the Home Farm Complex.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: “Stanmer Park is a well-loved public space as well as an important gateway into the South Downs National Park.
“We are fortunate to have this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to gain funding to restore the park and its buildings to their former glory and encourage more people to discover, appreciate and benefit from a unique historic estate less than five kilometres from the heart of the city of Brighton and Hove.”