A controversial plan for a new business park in a farm in Hickstead has overcome a key hurdle to gaining planning permissione.
Northlands Farm, just off the A23, has been earmarked for development by Pets Corner for a new HQ.
One of the key planning issues would be the required adjustments to the adjacent A23/A2300 junction
A spokesperson for Pets Corner said a solution has now been agreed with Highways England and West Sussex County Council Highways Department.
Andrew Ransome, associate at Plainview Planning, said: “We’ve been working extensively with Highways England and West Sussex County Council Highways Department to establish a plan that meets all their requirements and expectations. I’m delighted that a solution has now been agreed with all parties that will result in improvements to the junction.”
The planning application is expected to be considered in the coming weeks.
Dean Richmond, managing director of Pets Corner, said: “The equation for us is pretty simple. We need to buy a new home urgently (up to 60,000 sq. ft) and Northlands Farm fits the bill perfectly. If it doesn’t happen we will have to move, most probably out of Sussex into the M4 corridor. However, if the planning application goes through we will build a new headquarters that would represent one of the most outstanding examples of sustainable and eco-friendly construction and become a home to over 100 existing and newly-recruited staff.
“Having to leave our Sussex base would be an awful wrench for everyone at Pets Corner, not least our many staff who live locally, but we are approaching a time when we may have to think the unthinkable.”