New Meads development could be rejected due to lack of affordable housing

Artist's impression of the proposed flats
Artist's impression of the proposed flats

Proposals to build a block of flats in Meads could be refused by councillors next week.

Developers want to demolish a home, known as Spring Mead, in Meads Brow and replace it with a block of 17 one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats.

An outline application is due to be discussed by Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee next Tuesday (February 26).

While planning officers say the scheme would provide much-needed housing, the application is recommended for refusal as it does not include any affordable homes.

In an officers report, a planning spokesman said: “There is already a very low amount of affordable housing available in the Meads ward.

“It is therefore considered that, by failing to make any contribution towards affordable housing, the proposed scheme fails to contributes to the objective of creating mixed and balanced communities, in conflict with the revised NPPF.

“It is therefore considered that, irrespective of the conclusions drawn in the accompanying financial viability assessment, the failure to deliver any contribution towards affordable housing as part of the development is unacceptable.”

Developers maintain it is not financially viable to provide affordable housing as part of the development.

In documents submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for developer Turnball Land said: “In seeking to expand the number and choice of homes in the Meads area, it was necessary to consider the viability of the proposed scheme in detail to ensure the proposals are viable, developable and deliverable by Turnball.

“Independent advice has therefore been analysed and a financial viability assessment is provided with this application.

“It is concluded that in comparing the residual land value with the value of the existing property (plus reasonable costs/incentive to move), the scheme cannot support a contribution towards affordable housing in the borough.”

The full financial viability assessment contains commercially-sensitive information and is not available to the public.

The proposals have proven controversial with neighbours, with 18 residents writing letters of objection to town planners

In their letters, the residents raise concerns about a range of issues, including road safety and the building’s design.

Objections have also been raised by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd. In his letter Mr Lloyd said: “The usage of surrounding roads would increase significantly compared to the property’s current use as it is not unreasonable to assume that the number of vehicles used by residents of 17 apartments would be more than at present.

“The amount of nearby on-road parking is already limited, and the size of the road makes it very hard for large vehicles to access, including emergency and refuse vehicles.

“In addition to this, the residents of neighbouring properties will lose a significant amount of privacy.

“When the road usage is coupled with this loss of privacy – not only for residents of Meads Brow but Darley Road and Baslow Road – makes the proposed development in this quiet residential area unacceptable.”

The application is set to be considered by Eastbourne planners at a meeting on Tuesday, February 26.

For further information see application reference 181058 on the Eastbourne Borough Council website.