Agenda item

St Andrews United Reformed Church, Cornfield Lane. Application ID: 170156 (PPP).


Demolition of St Andrews Church and Albury House behind retained facade to Blackwater Road. Construction of 3-4 Storey building comprising 36 residential units and 11 parking spaces accessed from Wish Road and Cornfield Lane – MEADS.


Mr Jones addressed the committee in objection stating concern regarding the lack of car parking, waste collection and access to the lane.


Mrs Williams addressed the committee in objection stating concern regarding traffic and access to Wish Lane, the lack of car parking and waste collection.


Mr Hollobone addressed the committee stating that he liked the retention of the front façade and that the roof should be retained as is.  He raised concern about the lack of parking and access during the development.


Mr Winch, architect, addressed the committee in response stating that all concerns could be dealt with via condition and that the bin storage location could be reconsidered.


Members were advised that the following information had been received:

Transport Statement: An updated transport assessment of the impact of the proposal had been received and drew the following conclusions:


·         A parking survey had been undertaken which found that parking stress on the roads surrounding the site was low at 55%. During the parking survey, there were a total of 191 free car parking spaces which comprised 109 resident permit bays, 48 single yellow line parking spaces and 34 unrestricted parking spaces.

·         Refuse collection would be from the kerbside in the same manner as other existing properties.

·         Town Centre location and was highly sustainable, close to goods and services and other modes of transport.

·         Proposed flats would result in vehicle trips of less than one vehicle every eight  minutes and less than the existing lawful use as a church.

·         In NPPF terms the impacts of the scheme could not be regarded as severe.


A letter of support had been received as follows:


I am pleased to see residential in lieu of dilapidated church, given small dwellings are  unlikely to have the same car needs as families.

A letter of objection had also been received as follows:

‘My major interest in this application is as the adjoining land and business owner of a long established and well known specialist motor sales and repair business.


My property lies close to the development and in general I welcome the renovation of the empty church premises and the improvement of a deteriorating building


I welcome the refurbishment within the existing building envelope, and that redevelopment is not being considered. But I have three main concerns which I would like to express, and for them be taken into account in making your decision tonight.


Firstly, I am very concerned that full vehicular access to my business is maintained throughout the construction period.  Obviously, unimpeded street access is critical, and even a brief interruption would be unacceptable and lead to a potential loss of trade from passing custom as well as booked appointments.


Secondly, I am concerned at the number of units which are planned.  36 units seems to be a large number of units to fit into this building, and this may give rise to significant pressures on services and parking in a sensitive high quality mixed use area.   


My third important concern is the risk to the continuation of my business following occupation of the new residential units.  Increasingly, new residents are objecting to existing neighbouring businesses which they regard as causing a nuisance.


Notwithstanding that we open for regular workshop hours, there are occasions when access is required at anti-social hours, and experience elsewhere indicates that residents’ complaints this can cause serious disruption to an existing business, however long established, even to the extent to forcing the business to close.


I would request that serious consideration is given to a planning condition, or advisory statement on any consent granted, if a condition is not possible, to alert new residents to the presence of local business activity, to prevent the possibility of an inappropriate objection to a long established local independent business’.


NB: Councillor Coles withdrew from the room whilst this item was considered.


RESOLVED: (By 5 votes to 2) That permission be refused on the grounds that the proposed development by reason of the number of flats proposed represents a gross over development of this restricted site, this has manifested in a parking density significantly below prescribed standards and the layout is such that the proposed garages are of a size/location that would inhibit ease of use; this may lead to a further reduction in available car parking at the site.


The lack of off-street parking proposed by this scheme would be likely to increase indiscriminate on street parking in an area of acknowledged parking stress. This increase in on street parking may lead to highway and pedestrian safety issues.


The scheme would therefore fail policies 10A of the Eastbourne Core Strategy, Policies TR11 of the Eastbourne Borough Plan as well as  paragraphs 32, 56 -68 of the National Planning Policy Framework.


Should the applicant appeal the decision the appropriate course of action to be followed, taking into account the criteria set by the Planning Inspectorate, is considered to be written representations.



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