Since planning permission has been secured, work on the site is expected to begin. It is anticipated the new development will bring a significant number of new construction jobs as well as new employment at the Nursery and other businesses on the site.
The 5 acre (2ha) Nursery site forms the first phase of a wider 37 acre (15ha) site that Landform is working on to deliver a further 225 homes together with new allotments, a public orchard, sports facilities and new public open space. The two schemes are part of the West of Bersted strategic extension comprising 2,500 new homes.
Arun District Council gave the consent via officers delegated powers. Landform, together with Pat Cullen and Alastair Smyth, who own and operate Chalcroft Nursery, applied for planning last August on the grounds that the businesses on the Bersted site are growing so rapidly they need to expand and modernise the facilities. The new development will include new laid out roads, parking and landscaping.
The Nursery is the main tenant on the site, and they will now expand their operation, along with St Wilfrid’s Hospice, which runs a purpose-built 650 sqm (7,000 sqft) storage and sales building which they have been occupying since 2016. The warehouse and sales building – where the charity sells second-hand goods – has been so successful that St Wilfrid’s, wants to occupy another building of a similar size.
At present, there are about 31 full-time staff and about 8 part-time staff employed at the site, with a few of these working in a voluntary role for the charity shop and warehouse for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
Landform has worked closely with Bersted Parish Council, nearby local residents and all the statutory authorities to consult on the new development and was very pleased that this close dialogue resulted in their support for the proposals.
Planning permission for a further 225 homes and landscaped grounds is now being considered by Arun District Council. The scheme is attracting significant market interest from national house builders, which is a reflection of strong market demand and the shortage of new homes in the Arun district. The site can make a valuable contribution to delivering the Arun housing need, which is facing a significant shortfall in supply. A response is expected soon.