A bid to convert the disused telephone exchange in Eastbourne into 95 homes has been turned down by town planners.
Developers wanted to build the one and two bedroom flats with 91 car parking spaces on the Moy Avenue site, on the corner of Waterworks Road and opposite Courtlands Road and has been vacant and abandoned for a number of years and targeted by vandals.
The application was to convert and extend the existing building to create 38 flats in one four storey block and build another two four storey blocks alongside it.
But members of Eastbourne’s planning committee turned down the application on Tuesday night saying it would be an over development of the site.
The decision came despite a recommendation from planning officers who warned members if developers appeal, the council would be likely to lose and be hit with costs for “unreasonable behaviour”.
A council planning spokesperson said, “Given the level of development proposed it is acknowledged there are issues of activity, car parking density, access/vehicle movement issues and overlooking issues that will result from the development.
“However it is considered these issues, individually or collectively do not amount to sufficient grounds to the justify a refusal of planning permission.
More than 36 objections from people living near the site were sent to the council from residents concerned at an increase in traffic, the impact on the Waterworks Road traffic lights, the buildings would be too high, and more homes would be a strain on existing health and school services.
The building was occupied by British Telecom as a telephone exchange centre including maintenance/service yard but since it closed has been targeted by vandals which led to artwork being painted on hoardings surrounding the site.