Upperton residents dismayed over plans to remove flint wall

A HISTORIC flint wall is to be demolished to make way for a car hardstanding in Upperton – much to the anger of local residents.

Town planners have given permission for a hardstanding to be put in at the side of a property in Watts Lane, which is one of two semi detached properties currently being built, meaning part of the historic wall will have to be removed.

The approval marks the end of a long running battle between developers and Eastbourne Borough Council over the site, which is close to the Old Town Conservation Area.

The controversy began in 1989 when developers were refused permission to build two detached houses and parking area. That and further applications to build two properties were dismissed by government planning inspectors until 2006 when an appeal to build two semi detached two bedroom properties was finally allowed.

A further bid to put in a hardstanding for one of the properties was refused by the council but allowed on appeal and the latest application to put a car hardstanding next to the other property was allowed on Tuesday night after councillors were told developers would probably win on appeal if the council refused permission.

Some 14 residents living nearby objected to the plan saying the removal of the flint wall would be a loss of history as well as removing off street parking spaces would cause congestion in a parking and traffic blackspot, and Conservative ward councillor Tom Liddiard said it was “vandalising history”.

Planning committee chairman John Ungar said, “It is with a heavy heart we are having to give this planning permission.”