An historic and prominent building in Seaford which has stood vacant for several years will be converted into flats.
Lewes District Council’s planning committee gave developers the green light to turn the Drill Hall in Broad Street into 12 apartments.
However the council stipulated that the scheme should not include parking spaces at the back, because of the problems this would cause for the garage, which backs on to the access lane, a narrow track leading off Clinton Lane.
The committee was divided about how to address the parking problem, debating allowing the scheme to go ahead with the proposed seven parking spaces.
Councillors finally settled on granting permission on the condition there was no parking and that the area of land at the back was turned into a landscaped communal garden.
The developer Mr N Moffet will now be allowed to turn the Drill Hall into eight two-bedroom apartments spread over two floors, two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats.
It was granted planning permission subject to the parking spaces being replaced by a communal garden at the planning meeting at County Hall on Wednesday May 15.
Speaking at the meeting, Nigel Wood, who runs the neighbouring garage, said: “I like the plans and I’m very pleased the Drill Hall has got someone who is going to do something with it, but I’m concerned about the rear access and the parking.
“To have more cars in this area will be very difficult.”
Some councillors raised concerns about the impact the development would have on parking in this part of Seaford, where they said parking was almost impossible.
However other councillors pointed out that in big cities residents did not expect to be able to park right outside their home and would think nothing of having to walk a mile to get to their cars.
Planning officers also pointed out the development was close to town centre shops and public transport links.
Cllr Bob Allen (Seaford South, L.Dem) said: “They would expect to have a car to go further afield. That would increase the parking problem.”
Cllr Sam Adeniji (Seaford South, Con) added: “I welcome the redevelopment of the Drill Hall.
“I think it will improve the street scene in Seaford. My concern is that parking in that part of town is very difficult and parking in the surrounding area is very difficult as well.”
But cllr Peter Gardiner (Ouse Valley and Ringmer, L.Dem) said: “Whilst it’s absolutely right that parking in the centre of town is difficult, you don’t have to go that far to find parking spaces.
“While it may be a bit of a way for some in Seaford, if you live in London or a city it wouldn’t be that far.”