Decision due on new Hurstpierpoint business headquarters

More than 100 people have objected to plans to build a research, development and office facility in the Hurstpierpoint countryside.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 1:03 pm

The application, from Cells4Life, asks permission for its new headquarters – a two-storey, 66m long building, with parking fro 83 cars – to be built in Malthouse Lane, south of East Lodge Farm.

It will be considered by Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee on Thursday (October 21),

While officers have recommended that the application be approved, the council has received dozens of letters of objection.

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The main concern raised was why the applicant wanted to build in the countryside.

One objector said: “Malthouse Lane is a country lane in a rural setting. This is completely the wrong location for this type of development.

“There are many opportunities around Burgess Hill for a development of this type, in areas already designated for commercial / industrial use.”

Proposed new headquarters for Cells4Life in Hurstpierpoint

Another added: “Our valuable green space should not be destroyed for development when there are empty units on existing local industrial estates and incomplete business parks.

“We need to protect our countryside and wildlife.”

Even the council’s conservation officer raised concerns, saying the development would have ‘a fundamental impact on the site’s currently open and rural nature’.

The officer added: “The impact of the proposed development would be exacerbated by its scale, bulk, design and materials, which are unsympathetic to the rural location.”

Proposed site location off Malthouse Lane, Hurstpierpoint

The council received one letter of support which said: “This is a well-considered scheme providing an excellent use of redundant land and giving a respected local company the resources they need to continue to support business in Mid Sussex.”

Cells4Life already has planning consent to build a commercial building on the site, which was granted by the council in 2019.

But a design statement submitted with the application said this latest building’s mixture of glass and timber ‘differs greatly’ from the previous design.

Recommending the application for approval, a report from planning officers said: “The scheme would provide a good quality building that would provide high quality employment floorspace.

“The applicants indicate that 31 people would be employed on the site in high quality jobs.

“This will provide an economic benefit to the local economy.”

To view the application, log on to pa.midsussex.gov.uk and search for DM/21/1118.