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Childcare & Education

Christie & Co instructed to sell 138-acre freehold Sussex estate

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has been instructed to sell the 138-acre former Pestalozzi International Village (“Pestalozzi”) in East Sussex on behalf of PGL Travel Ltd.

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Situated in a picturesque location just outside of Sedlescombe in East Sussex, within the High Weald designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Pestalozzi was a children’s educational and residential establishment which attracted children from around the world for over 60 years, until it was acquired by PGL Travel Limited in 2019.

This significant piece of real estate incorporates a range of former residential and educational buildings providing circa 3,387 sq m (36,467 sq m) of accommodation, together with a lake, surrounded by former sports pitches and agricultural land.

Pestalozzi’s permitted planning use is as an educational and residential institution and there is an existing consent which would allow for the development of a further 2,922 sq m (31,453 sq ft) of accommodation on site. However, it is considered that the site may have potential for a variety of healthcare and education related uses falling within class C2. In addition, parts of the site may also have potential for health & wellbeing, places of worship or non-residential education and training centre uses, subject to the necessary consent and permissions.

Alternatively, planning consent could also be sought for the redevelopment of what is known as ‘Previously Disturbed Land’ including such uses as tourism, housing, or as a natural/woodland burial ground, indeed, the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan appreciates that some impact on the AONB may be necessary and therefore, it is thought that the potential for an element of residential development on the site may be possible.

On account of this significant and wide-ranging potential, Christie & Co will be marketing the opportunity using the collaborative expertise of agents across its Leisure, Care and Childcare teams, and will be seeking unconditional offers on a subject to contract only basis for the freehold interest.

Anthony Jones, CEO of PGL, comments, “Following a review, we have decided to dispose of the Pestalozzi site in order to focus our investment plans elsewhere.”

Jon Patrick, Head of Leisure & Development at Christie & Co adds, “Opportunities to bring to market estates at the scale of Pestalozzi, in the south of England, are exceptionally rare. The amount of current on-site accommodation, as well as the opportunity to extend this under existing planning permission, will appeal to a wide range of potential purchasers within the leisure, health & wellbeing and tourism industries, along with residential developers and we anticipate the site will generate significant interest.”

Courteney Donaldson, Managing Director - Childcare & Education at Christie & Co, adds, “The extent of current accommodation, the tranquillity of the location and its ease of accessibility, teamed with its potential for further development will greatly appeal to a wide range of buyers spanning the specialist childcare and education sectors and we look forward to speaking with interested parties.”

Jordan Rundle, Director - Healthcare Development & Investment at Christie & Co, concludes, “Affluence levels are strong within the catchment area and the site is situated close to the densely populated elderly demographics of Hastings, Bexhill, and Eastbourne. As such, this former C2 use residential institution may have potential to create a specialist care facility, or idyllic retirement village community set within extensive grounds, and we look forward to marketing this opportunity to our national network of buyers.”

For more information on this instruction, click here.

For further information on this press release, contact:
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Manager – Hotels, Pubs & Restaurants, Retail & Leisure
P: +44 (0) 7721 420 656 or E:

Phoebe Burrows, Corporate Communications Manager – Medical, Care, Childcare & Education
P: +44 (0) 7540 063 598 or E:

Contact the agents:
Jon Patrick, Director, Director, Head of Leisure & Development
M: +44 (0) 7831 263 529 or E:

Courteney Donaldson, Managing Director Childcare & Education
M: +44 (0) 7831 099 985 or E:

Jordan Rundle, Director – Care Development
M: +44 (0) 7711 767 180 or E:  

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