Frustrated charity eyes up new site

THE JPK Project has its eye on a new site for its residential centre after its plans to build on a council occupied plot came to a standstill.

The charity, run by Willingdon resident Jill Parker, has been raising money to build a residential centre for people with learning difficulties since 2001.

It has received much support from local fundraisers, but has so far been unable to find a site to build the centre.

The JPK Project has planning permission to build on the Ocklynge Chalk Pit, behind Kestrel House Nursing Home, on Willingdon Road.

However, the site is owned by Sussex Downs College and rented to East Sussex County Council on a 999-year lease.

The council says it will not leave the chalk pit until a comparable site can be found.

After years of trying to gain possession of the site, Jill Parker told the Herald the charity was ‘disappointed’ but was ‘reluctantly’ looking at other sites.

She explained the charity was currently in negotiations with a landowner in the Old Town area about another possible plot.

Jill said, “We can’t wait any longer for the chalk pit because we will lose the support from the local community.

“We are therefore, reluctantly looking for other sites and I am pleased to say that we have one in mind.We are really excited about this new prospect.”

Jill, who has been fundraising and planning the residential centre for nearly ten years, says she is determined to make sure the project goes ahead.

The original plan was to have residential accommodation for 24 people with en-suite bathrooms, two communal lounges, dining rooms, a kitchen and an activity room.

In addition to the residential centre, there are plans to have a resource centre and an administration centre on the site.

Trustees and supporters of the charity aim to make the site a place where people with learning difficulties can live, work and play.

For more information about the project or to help the cause visit www.jpkproject.co.uk.