Plans are in the pipeline to convert Langney Priory in to flats and build houses within the Langney grounds.
Developers have put in plans to Eastbourne Borough council to build seven new homes within the grounds of the Priory, convert a storage building to two homes and convert the Priory farmhouse into four self contained flats.
Access to all the new and converted homes will remain via the sole existing vehicular entrance to the site in Etchingham Road.
Langney Priory was a Cluniac priory established on the site before 1121 in what was then the village of Langney.
The Priory was also known as Langney Farm for some 400 years and before the Reformation, when the building was subject to Church control, the buildings were used for both residential and agricultural use, probably with a tithe barn and other outbuildings, as well as the established chapel, which remains.
Since the priory’s closure, the chapel, refectory and dormitory have been incorporated into a house, which has been designated a Grade II* listed building, and has been rented out for some years.
But developers say now the current rental income for the Priory Farmhouse within the grounds is not high enough to support the maintenance burden of house or grounds and the situation is “only likely to get worse in future”.
A spokesperson at John D Clarke Architects said, “The priority of the local authority and Historic England is to protect such heritage and as such it is anticipated any planning consent for the new buildings will be conditioned
such that the new homes shall not be occupied before the Priory is repaired from its current much-damaged state.
“In practice, this will mean that the necessary repairs to the Priory will need to be carried out prior to possible sale of land for new build development.
“The scheme offers this unique site a lifeline and opportunity to establish a small yet vibrant community of homeowners who, it is hoped will come to cherish and care for its unique atmosphere.
“The future of the Priory Farmhouse itself and curtilage listed structures will be protected owing to the sustainable financial model that this scheme enables: that of providing a number of high quality, yet modest and maintainable homes at reasonable individual rents.”
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