Planners approve demolition of Polegate’s former railway station

End of the line: The Old Polegate Station will be bulldozed
End of the line: The Old Polegate Station will be bulldozed
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Plans to demolish Old Polegate Station were given the go-ahead on Thursday last week.

It will be replaced by a 3.5-storey building containing a convenience store at lower ground level and 22 flats above with associated parking.

Members of Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee South followed the officers’ recommendation that permission be granted, subject to conditions.

The Victorian station later became a pub and restaurant which is understood to have ceased trading in May last year.

Objectors to the demolition proposal had raised concerns about the loss of a prominent and historic building, though it is not a Listed one.

But the applicant had advised the council that the “building is not in good condition. It was severely damaged by fire five years ago and has an artificial tile roof, modern extensions, the original brickwork is painted over and site investigation will show that the original internal features no longer exist.

“The building is one of tens of thousands constructed at that time. It is however, unlike many, not Listed because it is not of good architectural quality.”

An archaeological condition has been attached that will enable the recording of any historic features prior to demolition of the building.

Polegate Town Council had objected to the scheme, saying the former station was an important landmark for the town. It did not object to new housing, but felt the original building could be converted rather than knocked down. The town council also had safety concerns over traffic issues with large goods vehicles delivering to the planned Co-Op convenience store.

It feared the store would take business from the High Street Co-Op and from retail outlets in Polegate generally.

The response to the town council was that the potential impact on nearby local and corner shops was not a meterial planning consideration to justify refusal.

No development shall commence until a scheme of highways works has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority, which shall include full plans and specifications for the access and pedestrian crossings, new bus stops on Station Road, raised kerbs and any necessary associated works.