Could Stanmer House reopen soon?

Posted On 07 May 2021 at 1:31 pm

Stanmer House by N Chadwick


The reopening of Stanmer House has come one step closer after its owners applied for a new licence for the stately home.

The Grade I listed mansion has been closed since January last year, when the last commercial tenant went bust.

Now the owners of the leasehold, KSD group, have applied for a new licence.

The proposed activities – including dancing, live music, and boxing and wrestling until 3am and serving alcohol until 2am – are the same as the previous licence.

KSD, whose directors also part-own Whitehawk FC, did not respond to queries about what its plans for the venue are.

Its director Peter McDonnell and former director Christopher Gargan are also directors of a dormant company started in October 2019 called Sport Stars Boxing Ltd.

It’s not known whether KSD intends to run the venue itself or whether it’s applying for a licence to make the venue more marketable.

The commercial lease is not currently being advertised locally.

The application simply says: “A Grade 1 listed stately home which has undergone a major restoration programme. Comprises ground floors for public use as cafe/restaurant/pub, and upper floors as offices. Also, gardens and cellar to be used.”

The previous commercial tenant Country House (Stanmer) Ltd, run by Brighton impresario Alex Proud, went into liquidation in July 2019 owing almost £300,000.

It had previously put the commercial lease up for sale, and Mr Proud said at the time he had been struggling to run it as a “muddy dog venue”.

It carried on operating for a few months, before closing in January 2020, reportedly after KSD put up the rent.

The company was formally dissolved in October last year. The liquidators final report said there was no money available to pay any of its creditors.

KSD bought the leasehold in 2016 from property developer Mike Holland, who had been jailed for manslaughter over the death of a carpenter working on the stables behind the main house.

The freehold is owned by Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Nige Reply

    Well it was open and trading as a cafe when I was in Stanmer on Sunday.

    Didn’t see any dancing, live music, boxing and wrestling though:)

  2. Valerie Reply

    The thought of big sweaty bodies thrashing about in Stanmer House does not bear thinking about.

    It should be somebody’s home again, its glasshouses lovingly restored and growing its fruits. Cheap fencing gone replaced with better or hedges.

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