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Planned holiday resort in Sussex compared to the Shire

Architects have drawn up plans to turn the former Shoreham Cement Works in Sussex into an environmentally-friendly holiday resort with 600 pods, in a design compared to the Shire.

Shoreham Cement Works, located within the South Downs National Park, has been closed since 1991 and the 118-acre site constitutes one of the largest brownfield sites in the region. The £104 million development would include an amphitheatre, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and around 600 holiday “pods”. It will be covered in solar panels that will generate 1.5 megawatts.

Robert Cheeseman, Chairman of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “We’ve been concerned for many years about the ugliness of the Shoreham cement works. Any proposal that takes that into account has to be welcomed. Having said that we need to look at the detail of the current proposal… and consider it on its merits.

The development has been compared to The Shire. The above is an image of Hobbiton from The Hobbit films. © Warner Bros.

A spokesman for the South Downs National Park said:

This is an important strategic site in a very sensitive location. It will be considered as part of the Local Plan for the National Park. We know that there are several different proposals in the pipeline, including one from the local community. No applications have yet been submitted and there’s still much work to do to ensure that any proposals safeguard the South Downs’ wildlife, landscapes and heritage and can actually be delivered. The site has the potential to make a substantial contribution towards sustainable growth, but also to accommodate innovative development which promotes National Park purposes. This could include sustainable visitor accommodation, employment and leisure uses, all of which can be served by green travel measures. But the site is not considered suitable for general market housing.

Original story: The Mirror, The Daily Mail and the BBC.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner

Shaun is the current Chair of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2013, Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien’s works whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time can be found in the cinema, playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.


  • Tim Cooke

    Hello there, I’m looking for useful feedback concerning an idea for a project, one I think you’ve likely heard before….I have a small parcel of land in Scotland, and am considering turning it into an area with small dwellings for rent, within an adapted environment made as ‘Shire-like’ as possible….it’s a fresh idea and I’d like to know about likely demand and expectations first. The site is quite remote and surrounded by hilly forest, and I would expect to surround the area with a wooden palisade – hopefully blocking the sight of my polytunnel! A crucial concern is whether or not people would accept no less than true Hobbit holes…which I expect to incur prohibitive building/ safety rulings. Others must have looked into this? I do have ideas for hybrid constructions, which would take time and much money. Would freestanding straw bale/ cob cottages be too disappointing? I’m not short on great ideas but the thought of slowly creating something really amazing over the next ten years stretches the point a bit for me, but if that’s what it’ll take to create a true attraction, well……….? But for now – would enough people accept the same level of amenities as a campsite? A campsite with the famous Scottish midges in the summer air? No mobile reception or Wi-Fi? A twenty mile drive to a pub etc? We could arrange to lay on some catering, shop supplies, and a more modern style entertainment area, but in my mind the attractions should include a party field with pavilion, pig roast/bbq/ clay oven/ bonfire area, and provision for an outside stage , an archery range, horse stabling, general landscaping plus treehouse/outpost? for role playing, quiet lawn for readings/tai chi/meditation, swings for grown ups, possibly a Lord of the Rings themed crazy golf course (subtly positioned!), and ultimately, a stone feasting hall….oh and some real livestock would roam around ie sheep, goats in a corral, maybe pigs, so all underfoot and the scents in the air would be realistic…has anything like this been done elsewhere? Am I barking mad? I can say I am ‘old school’ so I would welcome any advice about likely crowd funding and allied blogging, or anything else the magic sandbox could do for me nowadays…..yours is the first organisation I’ve approached as the premier LOR site, but maybe you could recommend others for me? Thanks for your time, I await slavering worldwide response…….cheers oh p.s. nothing would likely be done for quite some time, I can only start the research for now