Controversial plans to convert Hailsham’s Old Court House into nine flats has been approved – despite the town council strongly objecting to the scheme.
Wealden District Council gave the green light to the redevelopment project – for six one bedroom flats and three two bedroom units with eight parking spaces – at the beginning of the month.
The planning application was for a change of use from business to residential at the building, at the junction with the High Street, Battle Road and London Road in the town centre, and given approval by an officer through delegated powers.
But Hailsham Town Council strongly objected three times on the proposals saying there was insufficient parking on the site, it would lead to an increase in higher levels of traffic, the area could be prone to flooding and it is too close to the crossing used by pupils going to Hailsham Community College nearby.
The town council is also concerned at vehicular access in to and out of the site.
Several letters of objection were also sent to the council along with a petition opposing the conversion plan.
A spokesperson at Wealden District Council’s planning department said in a report, “The premises have established commercial use but are currently vacant. The site lies inside the development boundary for Hailsham, is a previously developed brownfield site and in a sustainable location within the town centre.
“These are positive aspects that weigh in favour of the scheme.”
The spokesperson said despite attempts to market the premises for business use since November last year, it remained empty.
“While the constrained nature of the vehicular access and shortfall in parking provision is acknowledged, given the established use of the site and having regards to the view of the highways authority, it is not considered refusal on highways grounds could be substantiated,” said the spokesperson.