Your ‘Financial backers pull out of King Edward VII hospital restoration project’ headline was most misleading and caused some concern within the community.
Funding has not been withdrawn.
On all complex projects such as this, funding is agreed in stages as the project moves forward.
The current S106 agreement makes it more difficult to obtain funding for the first phase of the sanatorium, due to the large investment required dealing with the most complex and expensive stage of the project in one step.
We are simply seeking changes that will break this first phase down into smaller stages, making it easier and quicker to fund and deliver the most sensitive works first.
The changes will speed up the development, minimising the overall construction period, delivering a secure future for these unique historic buildings sooner and reducing the disturbance to the residents.
It is not a matter of if we will obtain funding, but when.
With the support of the community, the excellent Liaison Group meetings, and the South Downs National Park, and the completion of the demolition works, we are confident we will be moving to the restoration stage in the early summer later this year.
Amazing changes have occurred since we obtained planning approval at the end of 2011.
Vast areas of poor-quality building have been demolished, revealing wonderful elevations and vistas of this rare arts and crafts Sanatorium.
Large areas of new heathland have been created, adding to the ecology and biodiversity of the site.
We have an active team currently preparing for the main restoration works to commence, including specialist architects, engineers and landscape architects, interior designers and quantity surveyors.
These are exciting times for the hospital, and we remain as committed to the development as ever.
These are truly unique and wonderful buildings, worth every ounce of the hard work and effort it takes to deliver and save vast and complex buildings such as these.
The headline to your article painted a very different picture and we are keen any misunderstanding be set straight.
Design and planning director
City and Country
The article originated from information from a newsletter on the KEVII estate, which read: “City and Country has been looking to work with a new build developer to develop the parcels of land within the tree belts... Expressions of interest were received from a good handful of reputable new build developers. Unfortunately when their legal teams became involved they had concerns regarding the development controls set within the legal agreement between the South Downs National Park and City and Country, and withdrew their offers of investment.”
Therefore the Observer stands by its headline.