A detailed proposal for the site could be developed as part of the Neighbourhood Plan. This could be used to give the community a say in how the site is developed and what uses it will have on it. It has the potential to give the community a stake and a role in the design, management and ownership of the scheme.
This could be done through a ‘Community Right to Build Order’; a brief description is given in the attached note. The Homes and Community Agency would provide funding to develop the project through a Community Right to Build Order and the project could be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.
What is important about this site?
See attached concept diagrams below. The location of the site (A) in the National Park at a key point along the route (B) linking the parish northwards to the National Park gives this site importance as a potential gateway to the Park. It is also well located to build upon and support the existing and recent open space and leisure uses (C) that have been established on the northern boundary of the Parish including the allotments, playground, recreation ground and Lancing Ring.
As such, a project on this site could reverse the negative impact the current buildings have and help create a richer and more accessible ‘garden’ for the community that is more sympathetic to, and better integrated with the Park (D).
What could the project include?
The project could include a range of uses for the community, but there will probably need to be a balance that might include commercial uses, such as employment, to help cross subsidise the community uses and make the project viable. To date a number of uses have been suggested: an equestrian facility, an education and tourist/information centre for the South Downs National Park , a café, activities and small business related to leisure pursuits in the National Park such as bike hire.