JPK Project supporters will tonight (Tuesday) find out whether their plan to build a residential centre for people with learning disabilities will be approved.
A decision on whether or not an old church in can be transformed into a residential home for people with learning difficulties was put on hold earlier this month. The meeting was adjourned at the eleventh hour amid minor disputes over parking rights.
Supporters and fundraisers involved in the JPK Project plan to convert the Edgmond Evangelical Church Hall in to a centre where people can live, work and enjoy recreational facilities.
The plans include 16 en-suite studio apartments, eight flatlets, communal rooms, tea rooms and a charity shop.
The centre aims to provide accommodation with 24-hour carers and the chance for the residents to work and gain skills.
Jill Parker, whose 33-year-old daughter Katie has a learning disability, started the charity in 2001 and local people have been fundraising for the scheme ever since.
Jill said, “It is vitally important we get planning permission following almost 12 years of fundraising and searching for a site.
“We could not have reached this stage without the tremendous support of the local community who have supported us all the way.
“We would like to see it happen for the supporters as well as ourselves and we are aware that if we prevaricate any longer, we are likely to lose the support we have for the charity.
“From my own personal point of view, my daughter needs the opportunity to live independently and I, as a parent, need the opportunity as I get older to help her with this enormous transition of independent living. I also need to do this before I get too old.”
Mrs Parker says the site at Edgmond Road is perfect for the project’s needs and she and the other supporters are hoping the planning committee at Eastbourne Borough Council stick to the recommendation to approve the plans.
Mrs Parker added, “All things considered, this is an ideal site within the heart of the community where people with a learning disability have the right to live.”
The plans have received objections from local residents. They say it is a ‘massive over development of the site’ and there are parking issues.
The objectors, most of whom live around the site, also say they do not believe there is enough space for the project and they are worried about how the project is going to be run and funded.
However, Mrs Parker says the plans have been put forward following extensive research and support from grant making trusts.
The meeting will be held at Eastbourne Town Hall at 6pm.