Former Eastbourne depot site earmarked for housing to be sold

East Sussex County Council has agreed to dispose of a former depot in Eastbourne after it was granted outline permission for a housing development. 

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:24 pm
The land in question off Willingdon Road

On Thursday (July 29), cabinet member for resources and climate change Nick Bennett signed off on proposals to dispose of the council land at the former Ocklynge Chalk Pits site, accessed via Willingdon Road.

The council owns the land through a long term leasehold, with the freehold owned by the East Sussex College group. 

Until recently the site was used as a grounds maintenance depot, but it became disused 18 months ago when the council contractor using it altered its business model. The council says it no longer has a use for the land as a result.

Since then however, East Sussex College has been granted outline planning permission to build up to 18 houses on the wider site and (according to council papers) is currently in the process of marketing the land for sale. 

Details of these offers were exempt from public discussion, but meeting papers show ESCC would seek to dispose of its leasehold through this sale process.

In a report considered by Cllr Bennett, a council officer said: “ESCC has secured external valuation advice on the value of its leasehold interest and will seek to complete a disposal of its leasehold interest and receive a capital receipt based on its proportion of the overall value of the site.

“ESCC considers that the site is more marketable if it is sold in conjunction with Eastbourne College (sic) in their sale of adjoining land so the disposal may take the form of a joint sale  or a surrender of its leasehold interest.”

The site was granted outline planning permission in March. For details, see application reference 200855 on the Eastbourne Borough Council planning website