THE £70 million scheme set to transform the face of Eastbourne moved one step closer after plans were approved, in principle, by the Borough Council.
The planning committee voted unanimously to approve plans to extend the Eastbourne Arndale Centre.
The plans were submitted by owners Performance Retail Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Legal & General Property and Strathclyde Pension Fund.
The application, that includes the demolition of buildings west of the centre along Terminus Road, the construction of up to 22 new ground and first floor units plus additional car parking spaces was the result of two years’ behind the scenes work and public consultation.
Speaking at the meeting in support of the scheme were Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, Councillor Gill Mattock, deputy leader of the council, Councillor David Elkin, leader of the Eastbourne Conservative Group, Darren Weir, vice-chairman of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, and Tim Tradewell, chairman of the Independent Retailers’ Association.
As the decision to approve the scheme was made, there was a round of applause from members of the planning committee.
Simon Russian, head of retail development at Legal & General Property, said “We are pleased that Eastbourne Borough Council has, in principle, approved plans to extend the Arndale Centre.
“We now need to agree detail behind our planning obligations as well as hold discussions with those parties affected by the scheme.
“There is still much work to be done but this enables us to go to the next stage in moving forward our plans for the £70 million extension that will rejuvenate Eastbourne town centre and have a much-needed knock-on economic effect.
“We will continue to hold detailed discussions with retailers who have shown interest in coming to the town.
“Our public consultation showed that the overwhelming majority of Eastbourne people are in favour of this town centre regeneration that will create around 650 jobs.
“We would like to thank the Council and the public for their support up to this stage and we look forward to working together to create an exciting future for Eastbourne.”