Planning permission for the demolition of existing Pentlow Nursing Home, partial demolition of adjacent Summerdown Nursing Home at 59 Summerdown Road. Construction of new 62 no. bed Nursing Home, including relocated entrance/exit on Summerdown Road. Formation of new off-street parking within the 59 Summerdown Road site and reinstating planting, landscaping and external works – OLD TOWN.
Mr Strange addressed the Committee on behalf of local residents and expressed a number of concerns. In particular regarding the scale and size of the development, access, parking, loss of light and privacy, and the increased footprint to facilitate 62 bedrooms.
Rebecca Madell, Heritage Champion, spoke in objection to the application stating the application failed to meet Policies UHT1, UHT2, UHT4 and HO20 of the Core Strategic Plan. Referring to the comments from the Design Review Panel, she said they found the proposal cramped and it would be oppressive if built. She said the four storey building would cause loss of light, and severe overlooking issues on three sides of the building. She felt the development was too big, was in the wrong location and there were other more suitable sites in the Borough.
Councillor Ungar, East Sussex County Councillor, spoke in objection regarding the lack of a light survey, size of the building, potential for an increase in traffic and lack of information contained in the plans. He urged the Committee to reject the application.
Simon Franks, Agent, spoke in support of the application stating that many care homes had closed and the replacement care home would provide much needed accommodation for residents in Eastbourne. Purchased in 2007, he said the nursing home had recently been decommissioned as it was no longer suitable and was uneconomically viable, but that a replacement provision was vital . The proposed care home would offer 62 ensuite bedrooms, and a communal area, and would provide 75 full time jobs for local staff.
In discussing the application, the Committee was of a mixed opinion. Councillors felt there was a need for modern care home facilities in Eastbourne and noted that the applicant had revised the application in light of concerns raised by the Committee when the application was previously refused. . Some felt that the application had not improved in relation to scale or provision of parking.
A motion to approve the application, proposed by Councillor Murray and seconded by Councillor Vaughan was lost (3 votes to 4).
Councillor Diplock proposed a motion to refuse the application. This was seconded by Councillor Metcalfe, and was carried.
RESOLVED (by 4 votes to 3 votes): That permission be refused for the following reason:
The proposal by reason of its scale, design and relationship to the boundaries of the site is considered to result in an over dominant and unneighbourly form of development that fails to harmonise and build on local distinctiveness. It is considered therefore that the proposal would cause visual harm to the local street scene and have a material impact upon residential amenities currently enjoyed by the occupiers of the neighbouring properties. The proposed development therefore conflicts with the saved policies UHT1, UHT4, NE28 and HO20 of the Eastbourne Borough Plan and Policy D10a of the Eastbourne Core Strategy.
Informative: If the applicant chooses to amend the scheme to mitigate the impacts of the proposal then it is considered that a true two storey frontage building with single storey wings may be a more approval form of development for the site.