Category: Business

March 30th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE new Gurkha takeaway in Railway Approach opens tonight in the premises formerly occupied by the Shapla takeaway.

Photo Roy Henderson.

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March 24th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

WELBECK Land has submitted proposals to Mid Sussex District Council to develop land to the west of Imberhorne Lane with more than 500 homes, a country park, a new school and a community hub.

The area is not allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan, however the Plan does allocate land at Imberhorne Lower School (Years 7-9) for residential development of approximately 200 homes.

The Plan also identifies the strategic proposals of West Sussex County Council to consolidate the two Imberhorne School campuses resulting in the closure of the Lower School site and its development for housing.

Welbeck Land’s proposals, which have been submitted as part of this process, include the expansion of Imberhorne School, a new primary school, up to 550 homes, a country park, a care village and a new neighbourhood centre.

Welbeck said “The proposed Country Park can serve the community by increasing convenient public access to the countryside in the long term. It takes the land out of private ownership and guarantees that it stays in the hands of the community.

“We have proposed 15.2 hectares of residential land, which would usually require 10.56 hectares of public open green space.The Country Park we have proposed would be 16 hectares in size (approximately the same size as 13 cricket fields) and would provide convenient access to the wider countryside too.”

Welbeck says the neighbourhood centre proposed for the residential development would also reduce the environmental impact of the scheme,

“It’s common sense to ensure that we encourage residents to avoid travel outside the development (in so far as is reasonable) for primary and secondary schools, recreational space and shops.”This keeps additional car journeys to a minimum and promotes healthy transport options such as walking and cycling. We have proposed a neighbourhood centre at the heart of the development, close to both schools which would also serve the community by providing a convenience store and village hall.

There is provision too for two hectares of land for a village which would help to provide care and independence for residents in old age.

To find out more about the proposals, which have not yet been submitted to the planning procedure, go to: 

where there is an opportunity to leave feedback on the scheme.

Posted in Business, Environment, News Tagged with: , , ,

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March 24th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

SAINSBURY’S customers can now recycle their Easter egg packaging at the supermarket’s East Grinstead branch until 12 April. The specially designed Easter recycling facility allows customers to recycle the elements of Easter egg packaging – including card, paper, and rigid plastic which not all kerbside collections accept.

The retailer’s Christmas card recycling scheme, which collected 89.1 tonnes of cards last year, generated  a donation of £15,695 for the Forest Stewardship Council, which helps support the work they do protecting the world’s forests.

Sainsbury’s spokesman Paul Crewe said: “This is the second year we’ve rolled the scheme out in our larger supermarkets and we’ve had a really positive response from our customers and colleagues. Recycling is an important part of Sainsbury’s environmental commitment. The Christmas card and Easter egg recycling schemes have been really popular in the past and are a great way of reminding our customers to recycle.”

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March 22nd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Caravan Club helped to raise more than £21,000 for charity on Friday, when employees stayed on after work to man the only official BBC Sport Relief call centre in Sussex.  

An impressive £21,577 in donations was taken on the phones, while The Caravan Club head quarters raised a further £2,000 through a number of fundraising events which took place throughout the week.

Sports personalities Jamie Baulch, Derek Redmond, Amy Williams and Sophie Bray joined in to support the staff and take part in games throughout the evening.

Nick Lomas, Director General of The Caravan Club, said “We wanted to do something to be a good neighbour and help in the community here in East Grinstead. It was a great opportunity for staff to come together and do some team work on something completely different from their normal day job.

Harvey Alexander, Director of Marketing, agreed. “It’s a great initiative that has come from within The Club. It was our contact centre that suggested we get involved with Sport Relief and we’re delighted to be the only contact centre in Sussex.

“It was a fun-filled evening taking those really important donations for a really good cause. We had more than 100 volunteers manning the phones, so it was a real team effort.”

* Of all the money raised by the public through Sport Relief, 50% is used to make a difference right here in the UK, and 50% goes towards transforming lives across the world’s poorest communities. In the last two year, Sport Relief cash has helped to enable:

  • More than 189,000 children to attend school and get an education;
  • 16,500 people get the support they need to improve their mental health,
  • More than 734,000 children to be given life-saving vaccines, and
  • Funding for 23 projects that support people living with dementia.

Posted in Business, Charity, News Tagged with: ,

March 16th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

TODAY’S Budget announcement on business rates will be a big relief for East Grinstead’s small businesses according to a local accountancy specialist. 

Denis Day who owns TaxAssist Accountants in East Grinstead said: “More than doubling the threshold for claiming small business rate relief, from £6,000 to £15,000, will mean that many local business owners will no longer pay any business rates for their office or shop premises.

“This will be a major boost for many small businesses and will go some way to help level the playing field when competing against online only product and service suppliers.

“For many small businesses, particularly those which deliver products and services to our homes, cars and vans are essential not a luxury, so the continued freeze on fuel duty is further good news.

“Cuts to Capital Gains Tax, changes to commercial stamp duty and plans to reduce Corporation Tax from 20% to 17% by 2020 are also welcome.

“At last we have a Budget which has some measures to back small business and support the enterprise and hard work of this vital sector. They are facing new responsibilities and pressures, including workplace pensions schemes, the national living wage, dividends taxation changes and quarterly tax reporting.

“There are over five million small businesses in the UK, contributing a massive £1.8 trillion to our economy and providing some 15.6 million jobs. They deserve some positive news for a change.”

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March 16th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

MASTERCHEF champion Peter Bayless will be teaching the secrets of French Patisserie at the Kingscote cookery school on 23 March.

Peter will meet his students with coffee and freshly baked vanilla sables before getting down to hands-on lessons in making several French classics includng:

Gougère de Bourgogne à la mayonnaise ciboulette (little cheesy choux buns with chive mayonnaise)

Pithivier de voilaille (rough puff pastry)

Tarte de demoiselles Tatin ou tarte à l’envers (Tart Tatin)

Choux pastry (profiteroles filled with crème pâtissière and coated with chocolate ganache)

Fruit vacherin (French meringues)

The day includes a late lunch with a glass of Kingscote wine. Sit down as a group with the chef to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It’s an ideal chance to unwind, ask any questions you might still have and get to know your fellow students. There’s even some ‘takeaway’ to enjoy at home.

Courses run from 9.30am to 4.00pm.

A minimum of 6 people booked is required for each course to run – £165 person.

See East Grinstead Online editor Geraldine Durrant’s review of the Kingscote school’s Italian cookery day here:

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March 15th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

IMG_3286THE Travelodge which is being built on the former town centre Caffyn’s site should be open by late summer site manager Jim Godwin (pictured right) said today.

Original projections of an Easter opening have proved optimistic, although Jim says the exterior shell of the building should be more or less finished in the next couple of weeks, leaving the interior to be fitted out.

High winds over the course of the winter have meant days when the builders have been unable to operate the huge crane which has been such a part of the East Grinstead landscape in recent months, and the site – which has very little storage – has been a difficult one, said Jim.

But despite the challenges it has presented, he says the project should be up and running before the autumn – and the crane should be gone by May.


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March 14th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

EAST Grinstead will be getting its first Vapour Room “soon”. Disappointingly, for those of a romantic nature, this will not involve chaises longues, swooning and sal volatile, but will sell “vaping” supplies for electronic cigarettes.

The new shop will move into premises recently vacated by Garnham H Bewley.

Photo Roy Henderson

Posted in Business, News

March 14th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

The UK division of hotel management company Interstate Europe has added East Grinstead’s Felbridge Hotel to its portfolio.

The 120-bedroom Felbridge Hotel also has a Spa with five treatment rooms and conference facilities for up to 350.

The American-based Interstate Hotels group operates more than 60 hotels with 8,000 guests rooms in the UK, Ireland and Belgium, under a number of brands including Holiday Inn,  Ibis and Marriott.

Robert Crook, Interstate’s managing director for the UK, said: “We’re delighted to add Felbridge to our burgeoning portfolio and look forward to working alongside its owner to build upon the popularity of its facilities amongst business and leisure guests alike.

“Felbridge represents an exciting opportunity for Interstate; the hotel has tremendous potential and we are presently engaged in various exciting plans for the hotel which we hope to be in a position to announce over the coming months.”

Changes in the pipeline may also include a change of name.

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March 14th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline
THE Caravan Club, which has its HQ at East Grinstead House, will be the only Sport Relief Centre in Sussex taking calls and raising vital funds for the charity this Friday, when various top sports personalities will be helping to take pledges, and joining in fun and games.
Photo top:  East Grinstead MP Sir Nicholas Soames with Nick Lomas, Director General of the Caravan Club during his visit to the new and refurbished offices in East Grinstead on 2 May, 2014.

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March 13th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Gurkha restaurant, which is to take over the former Shapla takeaway in Railway Approach, will be opening its own takeaway outlet “soon” according to posters which are now up in the window.

Photo Roy Henderson

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balcony view
March 13th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

unnamed-2STEVE Rogers of the High Street Jewellers Penny Farthing has just returned from a buying trip where he was part of a trade mission on behalf of the UK jewellery trade to the Hong Kong jewellery industry.

Steve was one of 15 UK jewellers invited to attend Asia’s largest jewellery exhibition as VIP buyers,

“It was quite a coup to be part of it,” said Steve. “Feed back and attendance at various functions were obligatory but the emphasis was on building trade relations and purchasing from some of the many thousands of international exhibitors.

“There were over 4500 exhibitors on 7 floors, and I walked an average of ten miles a day in between the floors, so it wasn’t a holiday by any means, but it has given me the opportunity to offer 18 carat gold and diamond pieces that won`t be seen anywhere else in the country.

“And I bought over 200 stones, around which I will design a collection of rings, earrings and pendants for the shop.”



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March 11th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

A Planning Application (DM/16/0612) has been made for a Change of Use of the retail unit at 188 London Road to a tattoo parlour.  The premises, opposite Moat Road, are currently used for the sale of nursery equipment by Nursery Gear.

Posted in Business, Council, News Tagged with: , ,

March 10th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

by Simon Kerr

NEW stall holders at the Thursday Farmers Market, Rosanna and Ian Lovett, brought a touch of Spring to the High Street this morning with their reasonably priced selection of cut flowers and plants.

The colourful display comes with them from their nursery which is based at Sanderstead, and you can still catch them today up to 2pm.

Ian and Rosanna are looking forward to becoming regular faces at the weekly markets and look forward to building up a regular customer base.

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March 10th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

AMENDED plans have been submitted for a new shop with five flats at the former Fry’s the Butchers site at 70/72 London Road. The changes include omitting the basement area and extending the flats to the rear. Planning application is DM/16/0742.

The area, next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet, is currently hidden behind a colourful mural of farm animals.

Photo Roy Henderson

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March 9th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE support of the Town Council for their plans to develop the site of their town centre department store, means the Martell family is now one step closer to moving their business across the road to the old Whitehall building in the London Road.

But as they make plans for the building, they want to know more about its past and what lies behind some of the long hidden parts of the Whitehall.

In particular, they would like to know who rebuilt the Whitehall after the bombing in WWII and whether any original plans exist which show exactly was done to bring the building back in to use.

It is thought the work was carried out by County Council sub contractors as the building was, in part, used as an emergency food centre, but with building supplies short, and skilled workers scarce as a result of the war,  it is likely to have been a rough and ready job.

If you know anything about the rebuild, and which local firms were involved, please contact Margaret Martell at the shop.


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The buildings will be stepped down in height between the front at London Road and the rear, overlooking Queen's Road, and the roof will be removed from the walkway
March 9th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

EAST Grinstead Town Council has voted to support the plans to demolish the existing Martells site and redevelop it with shops, cafes and up to 120 flats.

However they are asking that building work on the Queen’s Walk site should only go on between 9am and 5pm due to the residential setting, that no further plans for additional floors/ height to be submitted, and that the proposed 103 car park spaces be restricted to use by the residents only.

Town clerk Julie Holden said: “The planning committee was pleased to see the plans and hope that if approved this may generate yet more plans for regeneration to the remaining areas in this part of the town under different land ownership.”

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March 8th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

EAST Grinstead’s Cowan Architects has launched new architectural studio, Cowan Eco Design, in response to growing interest in both low energy buildings and refurbishment, coupled with the desire to move the practice’s expertise in this direction.

The initiative will be led by Mark Elton, who brings over 20 years’ experience in sustainable architecture to the project and will be responsible for developing a portfolio in Passivhaus design and low carbon retrofit projects.

Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail with rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process.

“Cowan Architects has established itself over 33 years with a solid client base and reputation in residential care homes and housing,” said Mark. “I think there is a good correlation between these sectors and the health and well-being benefits of the Passivhaus approach.”

Aside from sustainable new-build schemes, Mark is recognised for his work with previous practices on ground-breaking social housing retrofit projects.

“Mark’s experience in his field is second-to-none and we can use his knowledge for the benefit of any building sector market,” said Cowan’s Managing Director, Phillip Mumford.

“Cowan Eco Design will offer our current and future clients opportunities for the development of more ecological living, Passivhaus or low carbon retrofit projects, which is where the future of building construction lies.

“Passivhaus is emerging as a popular low energy standard for housing,” says Mark. “As well as establishing new business opportunities, I’m keen to offer this progressive approach to current Cowan clients by demonstrating that they can offer a cost-efficient alternative approach in both residential and care home markets.”


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The field where the proposed development will take place
March 7th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

Document9Above: the field where the development would take place: Right: protestors campaigned again the Linden Homes plan

EAST Grinstead Town Council will consider tonight whether to submit a response to the Planning Inspector’s appeal hearing over proposals for the development of Hill Place Farm in Turners Hill Road.

Linden Homes sought permission for up to 200 homes on the site with new internal roads, footpaths and landscaping, and has submitted an application for the provision of a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space.

EGTC recommended refusal of the scheme at their meeting of 8 December 2014 as the proposed development is within the Strategic Gap between Crawley Down and East Grinstead.

Councillors also judged the proposal would create an increase in traffic on the Crawley Down Road and associated junctions.

The Bluebell Railway objected too on the grounds that they had not, and would not, grant permission for access under a bridge they own.

EGTC also considered and recommended refusal of a revised plan on 8 June 2015, which was then refused by Mid Sussex District Council.

Linden Homes subsequently appealed directly to the Secretary of State.

At tonight’s Planning Committee councillors will decide whether the Town Council should submit a response to the Inspector.

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The current entrance to Queen's Walk
March 7th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

EAST Grinstead planning committee will consider plans for the demolition of Martells and the redevelopment of the site for flats and ground level shops at tonight’s meeting.

The Martell family’s ambitious scheme (DM/15/5067/FUL) seeks permission to demolish all the existing buildings on site, which includes their department store and associated buildings in Normans Gardens and Queens Road, and to redevelop the area with up to 120 new homes, new shops, leisure uses, restaurants and cafes.

The proposed residential properties will be a mix of one and two bedroomed homes. Each new home will have its own amenity space in the form of a balcony or terrace and some of the units will have car parking spaces.

All units will have cycle spaces and there will be shared refuse storage areas.

The commercial uses will be serviced from Queen’s Road. Refuse and delivery vehicles will be able to enter the site to collect waste and make deliveries and there will be a separate, dedicated refuse area for the commercial units.

Queens Walk will be retained and upgraded to provide a new, high-quality pedestrian thoroughfare, and the existing canopy will be removed to allow light into the area and increase the sense of openness.

A six-storey new building is proposed on the eastern part of the site (closest to the London Road entrance).

But moving westwards along Queens Walk the proposed building would reduce in height to five storeys to respond to neighbouring buildings. The new homes and commercial units will overlook Queens Walk to ensure activity and surveillance along the public walkway.

It is proposed to complete the development with a four storey building, which will front on to the car park and Queen’s Road. This building will be of a scale similar to the neighbouring buildings and will be set back from Queen’s Road to ensure that it does not have an over-bearing impact on the College building.

A project spokesman said: “We hope the proposed design solution provides an exciting development opportunity to improve the shopping experience and public realm without compromising the development of surrounding sites.”


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March 4th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

imageEAST Grinstead dads Roger Healiss (right) and Ian Green (top) have been awarded a Mumsnet Best Award for their smartphone app which helps families coordinate their diaries.

Their new virtual diary, called Droppa, allows friends and family to share their schedules, and invite other people along to planned activities.

So whether is a kick-around at the park, a doctor’s appointment or an exam schedule, no-one in the family has any excuse for no knowing what is going on, or where they should be.

Roger, a flooring specialist who lives in the Holtye Road, had no experience of apMn-Logo--2016 Rgp development, but after a mix-up over his own children’s half term dates he was determined not to be a daft dad any longer.

It might be sexist, he laughed, but fathers simply don’t look at family calendars, so with the help of his business partner Ian Green he was determined to come up with a foolproof system to keep the whole family up to date.

The new virtual diary, which works via phone contacts, is a closed network and completely safe, said Roger, and since its launch has already been downloaded across five continents.

Droppa is currently available from the Apple Store.


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March 4th, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

897054_f00ac0bb18724c9f9e7441b85781ea01SCULPTOR David Lucas – who is better known as Chainsaw Dave – is into recycling. Show him a “problem tree” which has blown down across the road, or a hefty branch which has fallen on to a garden shed and he can look inside and see a sculpture waiting to be released from its wooden prison.

His beautiful work – created with that most unlikely of tools the chainsaw, and trees from sustainably managed Forestry Commission woodland – are beautiful, whimsical and inspiring.

And very much in demand for public and private commissions.

They range in size from small, carry-away pieces to huge works weighing 1,000kg or more which can be seen at Wakehurst Place, Kew Gardens, Sheffield Park and many other parks and public locations.

Dave works closely with the Woodland Centre in Selsfield Road West Hoathly where his work is on sale. But for a quick look at the master carver at work creating a big brown bear, see the time lapse video below.

For more information about Dave’s work visit

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March 3rd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

THE Shapla Indian takeway in Railway Approach which closed last week, is to reopen shortly as a takeaway outlet for the Gurkha restaurant in the London Road.

Photos Roy Henderson

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March 3rd, 2016 by eastgrinsteadonline

IF you shop at Sainsbury’s and collect Active Kids vouchers, the town’s Guides and Brownies would be very grateful for any donations as they can be exchanged for sports and cooking gear. If you have any to spare drop them into the collecting box in St Swithun’s church hall.

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