Planners have called on developers to rethink proposals to replace balconies at a Victorian building in Eastbourne.
The application, which was considered by Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (May 28), saw developers seeking permission to replace a number of balconies to the rear of the South Cliff Court building in South Cliff.
While the application was recommended for approval, the committee felt increasing the size of the balconies would have an impact on the amenity of nearby neighbours.
Cllr Barry Taylor (Con, Meads) said: “I have concerns because the extra impact of the balconies being used as amenity space will show, I think, a detrimental impact on residents in terms of overlooking.”
The committee heard that the existing balconies are dilapidated and in need of repair, with scaffolding having been erected around the building as a short term solution.
A like-for-like repair, however, would come under permitted development rights, meaning the developer would not need planning permission to carry it out.
But the proposals also includes the demolition of a ‘stack extension’, a shaft extending from the interior of the flats out onto what used to be balcony space.
While planners say this sort of demolition -which would make the balcony space larger than it currently is – would not be opposed, developers were also seeking permission to extend the balcony forwards a short distance.
The balconies would, however, include a frosted glass privacy screen, which the current balconies do not have.
The committee said it would not support this extra extension, due to the additional impact on neighbours.
Cllr Robin Maxted (Lib Dem, Upperton) said: “I certainly understand why people in the vicinity are concerned.
“The shaft was obviously added some years ago and for people living there, while it might not be a material change to planners, it is very much a significant change to people who are living there now.
“Although I understand the balconies were there at one time, to reintroduce it from what it has been converted to is a noticeable change.”
Following further discussion, the committee unanimously opted to defer making a decision on the application, asking officers to request the developers rethink the size of the replacement balconies.
The committee said it would not like the replacement balconies to be any larger than those which already exist, with the developer being asked to submit altered plans to reflect this before the proposals go back before the committee.
If no alterations are put forward the application would be refused planning permission without returning to the committee.