Decision looms over controversial Eastbourne care home plan


Controversial proposals to build an 85-bed care home in Eastbourne are to go before planners next week, writes the Local Democracy Reporter. 

On Tuesday (August 27), Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee are to consider an application to demolish a property at 282 Kings Drive and build an 85-bedroom care home in its place.

According to the application, the care home would also incorporate a cafe, cinema room, function room and outdoor seating. 

The application, which is recommended for approval, also seeks permission to close off the existing access via Kings Drive and create a new entrance to the site via Decoy Drive.

In a report to the committee, a council planning spokesman said: “The proposed development would represent a suitable use of the site and seeks to maximise its development potential. 

“Appropriate design and layout solutions have been incorporated into the scheme to ensure that there would be no material impact upon the amenities of neighbouring residents. 

“The development also ensures that the overall character and appearance of the surrounding area and the integrity of the local wildlife site is maintained and safeguarded.

“The proposed new access point and the density of the parking are considered to be suitable to serve the development and has the support of East Sussex Highways Department.”

Despite being recommended for approval, the application has proven to be controversial with local residents.

In all the council has received 37 letters of objection from residents raising a variety of concerns, including; fears over parking, traffic, impact on surrounding homes and the potential ecological impact of construction on the site.

The application is also opposed by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd. According to a report to the committee, Mr Lloyd said the development would overshadow its neighbours and negatively impact on the residential character and amenities of the area. 

He also raised concerns about the ecological impact of the proposals, as the site is close to an area of scientific importance.

According to the report, Mr Lloyd also raised concerns about the impact on traffic saying it would ‘add fuel to the fire’ in an already congested area.  

Applicant Hallmark Care Homes, however, argues these issues have been addressed within the application.

In a design and access statement submitted on their behalf, a spokesman for the applicant said: “The proposal represents a well-designed development to meet the local need for high quality care for the elderly and those suffering from other disabilities that mean they can’t look after themselves. 

“The development respects the residential character of the area and will not detract from the character and appearance of the street scene. It also seeks to minimise any potential impact to neighbouring amenity and protect the protected woodland.

“There are no identifiable adverse impacts that significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal.”

For further details see application reference 181178 on the Eastbourne Borough Council planning website.