The Slaugham Archives

Planning application for motel in Handcross
The Slaugham Archive
Planning application for motel in Handcross

A tentative planning application for a filling station on the old southbound A23 dual carriageway just north of Handcross School made in 1978 seemed to come to nothing. A confusing announcement by Mid Sussex District Council stated that the filling station would be built on land adjoining Handcross Park, Pease Pottage!
In 1981 the planning application had changed dramatically! The Pease Pottage connection was still suggested with no positive mention of Handcross being made. This time permission was sought for a filling station, together with a 120-bed motel, restaurant and a 52 acre country park on land at Springwood Farm in the Balcombe Lane, but accessed from the filling station slip road.
I can find no additional paperwork, but I note that a “proposed new site for Handcross Primary School” was drawn on the map. It seems probable that this constituted an offer by the wealthy American applicants to build a new school if their planning application was successful. If this had come to pass the present chaotic traffic problems at the present school gates would disappear. However, the chaos would simply be transferred to the suggested new location in the Recreation Ground opposite the houses between the former Fountain Inn to Gravelpit Corner!
The Large Version shows the location of the proposed filling station.
Select Open Document to view six images of various sections of the large plan, the confusing 1978 MSDC notice, and two newspaper cuttings relating to the fight to prevent the application being passed and the successful outcome, at least for those being the vast majority who opposed it.
The investigation into this story was prompted by the 1978 cutting which was kindly supplied by Beverley Ansell.

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Picture added on 30 October 2017 at 17:28
This picture is in the following groups
Roads - Handcross - Balcombe Lane and London Road
Another newspaper cutting has turned up and can be viewed by selecting Open Document. Despite opposition from Mid Sussex Council, Slaugham Parish Council and Handcross Residents Associetion the application's refusal was sent to appeal.
The appeal failed to impress and the whole scheme was promptly abandoned.
It is interesting to note that the report gave prominence to the 54 acre country park and picnic area, with the filling station, restaurants, and 120-bedroom motel added almost as an afterthought!
I am grateful to Beverley Ansell (née Fraser) for supplying the cutting.
Added by Barry Ray on 03 June 2018
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