They include high welfare, low impact and low intensity farming activity, mixed use rural diversification development, rural food and retail opportunities, AgriTech facilities, the development of a range of leisure and tourism uses and the gradual development of a range of housing to be part of a new settlement called Rickman’s Green Village.
At the centre of this strategy is the link between agricultural uses and a variety of employment space, and affordable accommodation, breaking down the barriers to entry into rural employment and accommodation for younger people.
This will be allied to an ecology and environmental programme to improve biodiversity and continue the clean-up and restoration of the site.
The regeneration of the farm will be an exemplar of genuinely sustainable rural diversification, using local building materials including timber from the farm, generating much of its own energy requirements, recycling grey water, managing waste locally on the site, and providing homes and jobs for local people within a thriving rural economy.
The diversification plans will be respectful of the beautiful landscape, the Ancient Woodland, and the rich and diverse ecology of the site, with the aim of generating ecological gain and giving members of the public access to enjoy and learn from the complex eco-system that is Crouchlands Farm.
The plans are being developed in discussion with the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, in the context of the Gatwick 360 Strategic Economic Plan and the emerging Local Industrial Strategy. In addition, discussions are ongoing to collaborate/partner with Brinsbury College, part of the Chichester College Group, for the provision of land-based work experience and apprenticeships and subsequent employment and rural enterprise opportunities.