Conversion plans for Eastbourne’s former telephone exchange back on the agenda

Decorative graffiti on boards in Moy Avenue (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160302-193258008
Decorative graffiti on boards in Moy Avenue (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160302-193258008

A decision on plans to convert Eastbourne’s former telephone exchange building into 85 flats could be made next week.

The site, on the corner of Moy Avenue and Waterworks Road, has been vacant and abandoned for a number of years.

Plans to refurbish and extend the building to provide 95 flats were refused by Eastbourne Borough Council in 2016 and dismissed on appeal by a planning inspector in 2017.

The developer went back to the drawing board and came up with revised plans for 85 units.

The fresh application is due to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday October 23 with officers recommending approval subject to conditions.

In order to overcome objections from residents the overlooking impacts have been lessened on surrounding properties by reducing balconies and windows on elevations facing out of the site and moving block three further within the site.

However 88 objections from 55 properties have been received raising concerns about overdevelopment, design, highway safety, parking, infrastructure, pollution, drainage, noise, loss of light and impact on the character of the area.

According to an officers’ report: “The layout is broken down into three blocks, the majority of the car parking is provided to the site boundaries which pulls the buildings further from these common boundaries, this increases the separation and provides a buffer to the development.

“The positioning of the blocks also provides the opportunity to create a central amenity area within the centre of the development; this pocket park would provide external amenity space for the enjoyment of the residents of this development.

“The layout is considered to maximise the potential of the site whilst offering a buffer to surrounding properties by setting the buildings in from the boundary with car parking to the edges of the development.”

They added: “The scheme is considered to be an appropriate redevelopment of this parcel of previously developed land and would not give rise to any substantive issues that would warrant or justify a refusal of planning permission.”

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