Planners approve garage demolition plans in Eastbourne

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Plans to build houses on a council-owned garage site in Eastbourne have been given the go-ahead this week.

At a meeting on Tuesday (July 24), Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee approved an application to demolish a set of 20 council-owned garages on land near Timberley Road and to build four two-bedroom houses in their place.

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

Before making a decision the committee heard representations from ward councillor Colin Belsey and Timberley Road resident Joanna Brown.

Mrs Brown raised a number of concerns about the scheme, including the loss of parking and the impact of building works on nearby residents.

She said: “The proposed new houses will overlook every room in 34 to 42 Timberley Road and 37 to 41 Maplehurst Road apart from one bedroom.

“The suggestion is that because we live in a terrace of houses, then we have no privacy. This is not true. Our houses are staggered and we do not look directly into each others’.

“Building houses in the garage mean all these houses and others will be directly overlooked.”

Cllr Belsey also raised concerns about the impact of building work on residents and the parking pressures in the area.

He said: “I seem to be here complaining about building on garage sites all the time now. This particular site is surrounded by housing and I really think it is just going over the top.

“I’m particularly concerned about the construction and water works. The whole thing is concrete at the moment, so the whole of that has got to be drilled out.

“It is going to be exceedingly noisy, exceedingly dirty and I don’t think the residents should have to be put through that.”

Cllr Belsey asked the committee to defer making a decision on the plans until the committee could conduct a site visit.

After hearing from Mrs Brown and Cllr Belsey, the application was approved four votes to three.

An eighth committee member Barry Taylor (Con. – Meads) declared a prejudicial interest and did not vote, as he had previously objected to the scheme at a full council meeting.

A similar application to build five houses at a council-owned site in Brede Close was deferred at the same meeting following a request from residents objecting to the proposals.

Both sites had been identified as being suitable for housing in the council’s Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) process in 2017.

Huw Oxburgh , Local Democracy Reporting Service