Former Cuckfield school site to be sold

Court Meadow School, before it closed in 2012
Court Meadow School, before it closed in 2012

The site of a former special school is to be sold after being declared surplus to requirements by West Sussex County Council.

The council announced its decision regarding Court Meadow, in Cuckfield, on Thursday (January 31), more than six years after the school closed.

The building, in Hanlye Lane, has remained largely empty and unused ever since.

No financial details have yet been shared about how much the site will be sold for or how the money will be used.

The Cuckfield Neighbourhood Plan has the site earmarked for ten homes, and the council has received 15 offers for the land since May.

The successful bid will have to put in a planning application by June 30 or the sale will be offered to another bidder.

A report from Jeremy Hunt, cabinet member for finance and resources, said that the top five bidders were interviewed in July.

Progress came to a half, though, while Mid Sussex District Council considered a nomination from Cuckfield Parish Council calling for the site to be listed as a community asset.

The nomination was turned down in November and all offers were then reconsidered.

Mr Hunt’s report stated: “Due to the location of this site adjacent to an operational children’s residential care home and the gypsy, Roma and traveller site, both owned and managed by the county council, the county council does need to maintain an element of control in the development process and a high

density development scheme is considered to be unsuitable for this site.

“The county council will seek reassurances from the purchaser that care will be taken during the construction process to minimise the impact on the local residents.”

The decision to sell the land will come into effect on February 12, unless called in for further discussion by county councillors.