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The Folly - Redevelopment or Disaster area - Updated 10th January 2021

Tower East Side



Anyone passing along Church Road cannot fail to notice that there is currently very little activity on the Massey's Folly redevelopment project.

The "Covid" effect may, in part, have contributed to the delays but the project appears to have been slowly grinding to a halt over the last few months.

Some of the the windows in the tower have been removed and left open to the weather which does not bode well for the interior which was in poor condition long before work started.

One of the conditions of the planning approval was that priority should be given to the restoration of the main building, before work commenced on the two new houses, which were to be built on the old school playground behind the main building.

Some renovation work was carried out on the Folly but whether the works were completed before yet another company removed their scaffolding is uncertain.

Although access to the site is restricted it is clear that construction of the two houses has gone ahead but, as is the case with Massey's Folly, construction appears to have come to a halt following the most recent removal of scaffolding.

The images below show the house at the eastern end of the old school playground but both houses are in a similar condition with several holes in the roof and some window spaces left wide open to the weather

There have also been allegations that the dimensions and locations of the newly constructed houses are not in line with the plans approved by the South Downs National Park planning authority in 2017.

If you need a reminder, the full planning application SDNP/15/03809/FUL and associated documents can be viewed on the SDNP planning portal. (link opens in a new page).

Western House Skylight


The company managing the site is the appropriately named Massey’s Folly Development Limited which was, until early last year, registered at an address in East Grinstead with three Directors listed.

In February 2019 two of those Directors resigned and in the following month the registered address was changed and the company is now registered to an address in Manchester .

Since the coffers of your village website are not exactly overflowing your reporter will refrain from offering an opinion on the sole remaining director, a Mr Nicholas Nelson Sutton but, should you wish to learn more, I suggest you enter his name into a popular search engine and peruse the results.


Front door

Although Massey's Folly Development are responsible for managing and overseeing the works carried out on the site, most of the work is being carried out sub contractors of various trades, quite a proportion of which are self employed one person companies.
(Nearly typed one "man" companies there but amended the line to avoid a twitter storm!)

There have been a string of complaints from individuals and companies employed on the site about delayed or non payment for their work. Of course it is quite possible Massey’s Folly Development Limited may have settled all these claims by now but, the lack of activity on the site would suggest it is not all is sweetness and light at Massey's Folly.

The issues surrounding the Massey's Folly development will no doubt feature at the next "Virtual Farringdon Parish Council Meeting" later this week (Thursday 14th) but the Parish Council have very limited powers and can only try and encourage some sort of responce from the relevant planning authority to ensure the developer is proceeding in accordance with planning consent, complying with building standards and is also fulfilling requirements and regulations with regard to the maintenance of a listed building.

The Saga continues . . . . . or possibly not!



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