Seaford Drill Hall to become block of flats?

Old Drill Hall, Broad Street, Seaford
Old Drill Hall, Broad Street, Seaford

An historic building in Seaford which has stood empty for years could be given a new lease of life if Lewes District Council gives a scheme the green light.

The Drill Hall in Broad Street was previously used by Number 2 Seaford Platoon but today is boarded up and deteriorating.

The district council’s planning committee will make a decision on the proposal to turn the prominent building into 12 flats with seven parking spaces at the back at its planning meeting at County Hall in Lewes on Wednesday May 15.

Seaford MP Norman Baker said, “I am glad that after many years of cajoling from me, the MoD is finally doing something with the Drill Hall which has been left empty for far too many years.

“Personally I would have preferred the building to have been kept for community use, but at least the years of neglect are over.”

Planning officers are recommending the scheme for approval but it will up to the councillors who sit on the planning committee to have the final say.

The proposal includes an application for change of use to eight two-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom apartments and two one-bedroom apartments.

The brickwork and windows at the front, as well as the rendered side and back walls were described as being in poor condition by the council.

A small communal garden would be provided for the occupiers next to the north side of the building.

As part of the application rendering on the walls would be renewed, a new artificial slate roof would be provided and on the sides, the lower parts of the ground floor windows to the apartments would be obscure glazed.

Seaford Town Council has objected to the scheme on the grounds of over development, traffic congestion in the area and lack of provision for parking spaces.

A landlord of a local business wrote to the council to say the shortfall in parking spaces would put an extra burden on parking for existing residents and businesses, saying at least 12 parking spaces should be provided.

However planning officers admitted while the proposal fell short of the parking standard guideline of 12 spaces, or one space per apartment, they argued in their report to the council that the site was very close to shops, services, bus routes and Seaford Train Station.

The Drill Hall has been used for a variety of functions since it was built, including as a concert hall for the Seaford Choral Society back in 1929.

It is owned by the MoD and was previously used by the Sussex Army Cadet Force for training and meetings.