Eastbourne garages to be demolished to make way for new houses

Image from Google Maps
Image from Google Maps

An application to demolish council-owned garages and build houses in their place has been approved by town planners.

At a meeting on Tuesday (August 28), Eastbourne Borough Council planners approved plans to demolish a set of garages and build six new houses in Brede Close, near Wartling Road.

The proposals had been submitted on behalf of Eastbourne Homes Limited, a housing company owned by Eastbourne council.

Before making a decision the committee heard arguments against the plan from ward councillor Steve Wallis and Mr D Stidder, a neighbour who objected to the scheme.

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Cllr Wallis said, “As a former portfolio holder for planning I am well aware of the issues we have in Eastbourne and that the town is failing to meet its targets. Targets set by government, I hasten to add.

“We are tight for space, so when we are looking at brownfield or greenfield sites it tends to be brownfield that we go for.

“In principle garage sites seem to be ideal but we have to be careful here because, obviously, garages sit within residential areas.”

Cllr Wallis went on to urge the committee to refuse the application, raising concerns around the height of the building leading to a loss of light and privacy for existing residents. He also raised concerns around the loss of parking on and around the site.

Meanwhile Mr Stidder raised a number of concerns including the loss of privacy for existing properties, pressures on traffic and the potential risk of flooding.

The committee also heard from planning officers who said the concerns of residents and Cllr Wallis had been considered but not found to be sufficient grounds for refusal.

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Officers said the development would be made up of five three-storey town houses, each with its own parking garage. The sixth property would be a one-bedroom flat with two undercroft parking spaces, officers said.

The committee was also told how the site had been identified as being suitable for housing in the council’s Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) process in 2017.

The application was approved with four votes in favour and two votes against.

Cllr Barry Taylor (Con. – Meads), who also sits on the committee, chose not to take part in the vote or discussion, saying his previous campaigning against the development of garage sites amounted to a prejudicial interest.