A major development could bring 600 new houses to Pease Pottage and help a much-loved hospice expand – if plans get the green light.
Five acres of land to the east of Brighton Road, have been donated to St Catherine’s Hospice by family business owner Bill Bridges, from Horsham.
The 74-year-old, who has helped raise thousands for charity, runs GW&G Bridges Ltd, a vehicle spares, salvage and disposal business based in Crawley.
The hospice is working with developer Thakeham – which has launched a public consultation on the proposals.
Giles Tomsett, chief executive at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We are absolutely delighted to share these exciting plans with the local community.
“We are extremely grateful to Mr Bridges for donating this land and Thakeham, who are kindly paying for the initial design and architectural fees as well as considering the best way to integrate St Catherine’s in the new community.”
St Catherine’s has 18 inpatient beds at its existing site in Malthouse Road, Crawley.
Staff at the hospice care for more than 1,800 people across Susrrey and Sussex with life-limiting illnesses every year.
Mr Tomsett added: “We want to support those who need us most, for many years to come.
“We hope the public will support us in our bid to care for even more people in our community, through engaging with our proposals for this site and helping us to raise additional funds to realise our plans.”
Robert Boughton, managing director of Thakeham Homes, said Thakeham was ‘proud’ to work with the hospice on the project.
“We understand that modern house builders need to do more than just build homes; we also need to create spaces for a community to develop and thrive and we are committed to delivering that,” he said.
“It is vital that local people have a role in shaping the communities of the future and we really want to listen to their aspirations for the area.”
Although the plans are still in the early stages, a spokeswoman for Thakeham said a new community centre or school could be built on the site.
Thakeham Homes is holding a public consultation at Cottesmore Golf Club on September 29, from 3pm to 8pm.
Find out more at www.eastofbrightonroad.org.uk
St Catherine’s Hospice
More than 40 people in two years were turned away from St Catherine’s Hospice because beds were not available.
Dr Patricia Brayden, medical director at the hospice, said the trustees had been ‘carefully considering’ accommodation plans for the hospice for some time and were delighted when Bill Bridges donated land for a proposed new hospice site.
She said: “Sadly over the last two years at least 42 patients were unable to access care from our specialist inpatient unit in Crawley as we didn’t have the beds immediately available.
“We suspect this figures could be even higher as professional colleagues wouldn’t refer a patient to our care if they knew we were full to capacity.”
The new site in Pease Pottage is two miles from the current building in Malthouse Road, which is frequently full.
Although Thakeham Homes is paying for the initial design and architectural fees, the hospice, which operates as a charity, is asking for the public’s support to help raise the millions of pounds needed for the project.
More than £7m was donated to the hospice from a supporter John Shemeld’s estate, which has halved the amount the hospice has to raise for the scheme.
Thakeham said the plans would be submitted to Mid Sussex District Council by the end of the year following the public consultation period.
A spokesperson for the council said: “No planning application has been submitted to Mid Sussex District Council so it is not appropriate for us to comment at this stage.
“Should a formal application be made, our planning officers and planning committee will consider the scheme at that time.”
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