SEAFORD: Plan for care home to make way for flats is ‘unsuitable’

Ronald Simpson House, Seaford
Ronald Simpson House, Seaford

PROPOSALS to demolish a long-standing care home in Seaford and build 37 one and two- bedroom flats on the same site have been labelled unsuitable and too large.

The plans include extensions to the Ronald Simpson House building by providing extra care accommodation with car parking.

But the application, for Sussex Housing and Care, has seen concerns over privacy and the size of the development highlighted by residents.

Around 30 people turned out to Seaford Town Council’s Planning & Highway Committee meeting who commented on the proposals ahead of Lewes District Council which will make the final decision.

Back in February this year it was announced that the care home would close and at that stage the majority of the 19 residents at the site in Links Road had moved out after learning of the redevelopment plans.

The decision was made by the voluntary board of trustees of Sussex Housing & Care, a local charitable housing association for older people, following a consultation process. It was deemed the building was structurally unable to provide the quality of accommodation that SHC wanted to offer the future generations of Seaford residents.

At the planning meeting Kenneth Day, who has lived in the area since 1984, said he felt the proposed building was too high for the site while another said there had been more than a 50 per cent increase in the footprint.

Another said the design of the development meant there was only one habitable room in his home which would not be overlooked.

One resident added, “We were told if this wasn’t passed we could end up with something worse. The care home is run down.

“We tried to take a relative in there two years ago and they were saying they would not accept anyone.”

Councillor Bob Allen kicked off the debate saying the application should be objected to on several grounds including privacy and being unneighbourly and out of character.

Councillor Tracy Willis added, “I’m never one not to encourage new development but it has to be in the right area. This is something that should be in an inner city because of the size of the development. I have been on the planning committee for six years and I have never been so incensed.”

Counillor Julian Peterson added, “Living space is of prime importance to us and if we put up these brutalist structures it could destroy the peace and harmony in the area in which we live.”

Members objected to the proposal on grounds including the density of the design being too high for the site, being out of character in a two-storey area, that it would put a strain on the health services in the town and was an overdevelopment.