Erection of a two and a half storey building containing 10 two bedroom flats and 12 parking spaces with a new vehicular access from Upland Road. AMENDED SCHEME – OLD TOWN. 39 letters of objection were received and one letter of support.
The relevant planning history for the site was detailed within the report. The observations of the Specialist Advisors for Arboriculture and Planning Policy, East Sussex County Council Highways department and East Sussex County Council SUDS were also summarised.
Further representations had been received from the Specialist Advisor for Arboriculture who stated that there were no objections subject to the tree protection conditions being extended to prohibit excavations, including service trenches, within the tree protection zones and also no burning of materials or stockpiling of construction materials within the tree protection area.
East Sussex County Highways department stated that ‘in line with East Sussex County Council (ESCC) policy a Transport Report had been submitted as part of this application. This had considered the application in terms of the existing situation, sustainability, access, parking and trip generation. The area around the site had been considered in terms of walking & cycling as well as access to public transport. The site was reasonably well served by bus with the routes that pass along East Dean Road linking to Eastbourne Town Centre as well as Brighton. There were also shops, etc. within walking distance. However, the topography in the area would put off some from walking and/or cycling. The report used the industry standard TRCIS database to assess the likely trip generation of the development. This had shown that approximately 30 additional trips would take place per day, with 2-3 in each peak hour. This had been checked using a larger data set which had obtained the same result. This level of additional vehicle movement could be accommodated by the local highway network without significant issue.
A total of 12 parking spaces were proposed to serve the site. Using the ESCC parking calculator a development of 10 no. 2 bedroom flats in the Old Town ward were likely to create a demand for 14 spaces based on census data and including for likely car ownership growth up to 2027. Whilst the development would not cater for all the likely demand within the site which was not ideal it was not always necessary to do so. The national guidance, Manual for Streets, stated that parking provision could be catered for on street where the local roads were easily able to accommodate the additional parking. It was noted that parking in Uplands Road was well used in between the site and East Dean Road but further along Uplands Road there was sufficient space to accommodate two extra vehicles without causing any significant problems. The submitted transport report included details of parking surveys carried out which accord with observations that had been made on site visits. It was noted that the junction of Uplands Road and East Dean Road had been mentioned in objections as a cause for concern. Normally when considering junctions, accidents for the last three years were taken into account. In this case, given the level of concern, accident records for the last 15 years had been considered. In this time there had been two recorded incidents at the junction, both of which were the result of driver error rather than road layout, etc. The transport report included details of speed and vehicle count surveys that were carried out over seven days which had shown that Uplands Road had low vehicles flows and average speeds below 30mph. This data had been used to determine the appropriate visibility splays in accordance with national design guidance. Although it would be preferable for 2.4m x 43m visibility splays to be provided (30mph standard) given the evidence the proposed splays were acceptable. The visibility to the east would also be greater than shown on the submitted plan. As noted in the transport report it was acknowledged that parking did currently take place in the visibility splays which although not ideal was acceptable and in accordance with the Manual for Streets guidance. A ‘plateau’ would be provided at 1in40 adjacent to the back edge of the footway to prevent vehicles potentially surging out into the highway and the remainder of the site would have a gradient of 1in10 which was acceptable. The access proposed was 4.1m wide, this should be widened to 4.5m to allow two vehicles to pass each other. It was noted that the access arrangements had also been subject to independent safety audit which identified a few issues all of which had been satisfactorily dealt with. Although not ideal in highway terms the proposal was acceptable as it was not considered that a severe impact would be created on the highway network and therefore it was in accordance with the NPPF.
Ms Adams addressed the committee in objection stating that the development would alter the character of the street and would be a dominant feature, which would result in overcrowding and overlooking.
Councillor Coles, Ward Councillor, addressed the committee in objection stating that the scheme would be an overdevelopment.
Mr Newton-Brown addressed the committee in objection stating that the proposals were out of keeping and an overdevelopment which would affect the privacy of neighbouring properties. The scheme would also increase the potential for accidents at the access to Uplands Road.
Ms Biston addressed the committee in objection stating that the proposal would increase traffic and parking issues in and around the site.
Mr Cole addressed the committee in objection and referred to the number of objectors to the application.
Mr Begeman, agent for the applicant, addressed the committee in response stating that highway survey had been undertaken, that the principle for development had been established, that the site was a large site in a sustainable location, and the scale and mass of the proposed building was not out of keeping with the East Dean Road frontage.
RESOLVED: (By 4 votes to 2 with 1 abstention) That permission be refused on the grounds that 1) The proposed building, by reason of its design, bulk, mass, siting, orientation and would be out of character with the prevailing pattern of development in the area and would also have an overbearing and unneighbourly relationship to the occupiers of the nearby residential properties. It would therefore fail to comply with policies B2 and 10A of the Eastbourne Core Strategy Local Plan 2013, policies UHT1, UHT2 and HO20 of the Eastbourne Borough Plan (Saved Policies) 2007 and paragraphs 56 -66 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2) The proposal by reason of the size of some of the proposed residential flats being below the 'National Housing Space Standards' is considered to provide substandard accommodation for the future occupiers contrary to Policy B2 of the Core Strategy Local Plan.