Equestrian facilities, glamping and rural enterprise centre proposed at Plaistow farm

Plans for equestrian facilities, glamping site and rural enterprise centre at a Plaistow farm have been revealed.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:26 am

Crouchlands Farm in Rickmans Lane has been the centre of much controversy over the years due to the operation of an anaerobic digestion plant.

But after the loss of several appeals, the plant was shut down in 2017 much to the delight of the community, with the lengthy decommissioning process taking place.

Now new owner Artemis Land & Agriculture Limited has requested a screening opinion on fresh plans for the site to Chichester District Council.

Potential new layout of Crouchlands Farm
Potential new layout of Crouchlands Farm

A whole farm plan proposes commercial and high welfare, low impact and low intensity farming activity, the gradual development of a rural enterprise centre, a rural food and retail centre, equestrian centre, and glamping site.

According to a screening report, the plans would deliver environmental remediation of the site, following its previous use for biogas production, and also deliver a net gain in biodiversity.

The farm hub would be a livestock operation at the north of the existing site, supported by refurbished agricultural buildings.

Meanwhile the rural enterprise and education centre, using refurbished farm buildings to the south, would provide a range of commercial and educational uses, with some accommodation for students or staff.

A new building to the south of the main access road would provide retail space for a food hub, cafe and cookery school.

Another new building would house the equestrian centre, providing 40 livery boxes, indoor and outdoor arenas, hay barn, circular horse walk, enclosed paddocks, a riding school and clubhouse.

There would also be an area given over to a serviced glamping site with comfortable cabins.

The report added: “The farm would be an exemplar of genuinely sustainable development, using local building materials including timber from the farm, generating much of its own energy requirements, recycling grey water, managing waste locally on the site, and providing jobs for local people within a thriving rural ecology.

“The proposed development would be respectful of the beautiful landscape, the ancient woodland, and the rich and diverse ecology of the wider site, with the aim of generating ecological gain, delivering a strategy for landscape restoration and a programme of long term sustainable landscape management, and giving members of the public access to enjoy and learn from the complex eco-system that is Crouchlands Farm.”

To view the screening opinion visit www.chichester.gov.uk/planning using code 21/00545/EIA.