SEAFORD: Appeal lodged over ‘Beachcomber’ plan

RESIDENTS have until the end of this month to voice their comments after an appeal was lodged when plans to build 51 extra care apartments in Seaford were turned down.

The proposals to redevelop the town’s last remaining seafront leisure facility has caused anger among much of the town’s community who believe it would be an overdevelopment.

Two applications to build on the Beachcomber site were submitted by McCarthy & Stone but were turned down by Lewes District Council. The proposals were both for 51 extra care apartments for the frail elderly.

The difference between the two is that the first was for a mixture of three, four or five storeys while the second was a similar structure but included six storeys.

Both plans also included a four-storey building for 10 age-restricted apartments for affordable housing.

The proposals were rejected by Lewes District Council after planning officers turned down the scheme under delegated powers, because they said the building would cause significant harm to the open character of that part of the seafront and the wider townscape.

Councillor Bob Sinclair said, “There’s strong feeling in the town that the site should be retained as an amenity site on Seaford seafront. We had a huge number of responses to the committee planning applications, further correspondence is very welcome by the planning inspectorate before March 28.”

Previous plans to build on the site have been turned down. In 2008 residents against proposals to build 88 apartments in the area were hailed a victory for community power.

Lewes District Council refused those plans and an appeal which was lodged was dismissed by an inspector.

Planning agents for McCarthy & Stone said, “The application fully assessed the previous Planning Appeal Inspector’s earlier decision and consideration of the site and was also subject to independent architectural advice. This resulted in the two alternative schemes being submitted, one with the main building up to five storeys high or and one up to six storeys.

“However, the council did not consider the proposal acceptable. The reduction in unit numbers by approximately 30 per cent from the previous scheme results in buildings with reduced footprints and massing and more space around them.

“It is considered the revised proposals respond to the Inspector’s comments and would result in an attractive development which would improve the local townscape whilst at the same time delivering much-needed extra care accommodation and affordable housing.”

Anyone wishing to comment on the latest plans should write to: the Planning Inspectorate at Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN by March 28 quoting APP/P1425/A/11/2145207/NWF.

An informal hearing or public enquiry into the matter will take place.