Plans to convert former Eastbourne care home into shared housing

Proposals to turn a former Eastbourne care home into shared housing are due to be discussed by councillors next week.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 1:31 pm
Property which developers want to create an HMO in Upper Avenue, Eastbourne

Developers want to convert the former Tredegar Care Home in Upper Avenue into a 14-bedroom HMO (house in multiple occupation).

The building would be occupied by no more than 26 people.

An application for the conversion is due to be discussed by Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday July 23.

It was discussed by committee members last month, but was deferred so officers could negotiate a reduction in the maximum number of residents, the inclusion of dedicated manager’s accommodation and provision of a communal living room for occupants.

According to an officers’ report the applicant has agreed to the amendments and revised plans have been received by the council.

The changes have resulted in the loss of three-double occupancy rooms, and together with the extra change of two double-occupancy rooms to single occupancy, the maximum occupancy would be down to 26 people, a reduction of eight compared to the previous plans.

Five letters of objection have been received, raising concerns about the loss of care facilities, setting a precedent for future proposals, noise, parking, security and management of the HMO.

But council planning officers said: “The density of residential accommodation in the area is high, as many buildings comprise flatted accommodation, or other similar high occupancy uses.

“As such, it is not considered that the proposed use would lead to noise or other disturbance in the context of the existing area. The previous use of the building as a care home involves a degree of activity associated with staff and visitors.

“However, the change from a care home to a large HMO with many unrelated individuals could result in some disturbance if not adequately managed. Therefore, it is considered reasonable to attach a condition requiring a management and maintenance plan to be submitted and approved in order to ensure occupants of adjoining dwellings are not subject to noise disturbance.”

The application says: “It is accepted that HMOs do not normally provide aspirational accommodation.

“However, they do provide much needed accommodation for those starting out on independent living or who are at a transitional stage in their life.

“It is to this group that we seek to provide a clean, affordable well-managed home that brings stability and certainty to what is often a difficult, fractured or erratic lifestyle.

“Too often HMOs are the marketplaces’ worst housing solution for the most vulnerable. Our proposal seeks to remedy this HMO problem, not repeat it.”