A pub can become a shop

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We are writing in answer to letters published in last week’s Herald newspaper.

We would like to make it clear that Eastbourne Borough Council Planning Committee have not given permission for The Drive public house to be converted into a retail store (Sainsbury).

Unfortunately, planning law allows a pub to become a retail store without needing planning permission; it can just happen because it is “permitted development”.

The council does not have a say in it, which is ludicrous but we believe that has been the law for decades.

The only planning applications, relating to the site, which have been approved, were not in relation to change of use. There are a number of other such applications which are planned to come to the next planning committee meeting on June 11.

If residents wish to object they have been free to do so.

In relation to the public not being made aware of this issue; as ward councillors we take very seriously the need to keep ward residents informed, this is why we distributed a Focus newsletter, to the whole of Old Town ward over a month ago, it contained an article by Stephen Lloyd, our hard-working MP, informing residents about this issue.

Cllrs CAROLYN HEAPS, JANET COLES & JOHN UNGAR,

Old Town