Astec House, 10-12 Sedlescombe Road South, St. Leonards on Sea
Redevelopment to provide a mixed scheme comprising 290 sq m of business floor space and 12 x two bed and 1 x three bed apartments together with associated parking.
42 letters of objection received and 1 petition of objection
The Principal Planning Officer, Mr Temple, introduced this planning application for the redevelopment to provide a mixed scheme comprising 290 sq m of business floor space and 12 x two bed and 1 x three bed apartments together with associated parking at A
Members were informed of an update to the report:-
One additional letter of objection from an existing objector/lead petitioner.
Members were shown plans, photographs and elevations of the application site.
Mr Adamson, petitioner, was present, he said he lived in the rae for 31 years and was speaking on behalf of the residents. He raised concern regarding the height and appearance of the building and parking, stating that unauthorised parking was likely to increase. He said the scale and mass of the building is completely inappropriate and far too large; it is out of scale and out of character for the area and will impact on the privacy of the surrounding properties. The building will block out sunlight which is important to visiting patients of the neighbouring doctor’s surgery. He read a letter from the owner of the neighbouring GP surgery raising concern regarding daylight; size and scale, design and drainage. Mr Adamson, said the development will cast a dark shadow over Silverhill both literally and physically.
Mike Pickup, agent on behalf of the applicant, spoke in support of the application. He said the Highways Authority were satisfied that the amount of car parking, widening and additional tactile paving at the entrance of Ponswood Road is acceptable. Furthermore, he said, the committee report confirmed that the costs associated with the proposed re-development scheme would not be viable to include affordable housing. He said the committee report refers to the potential for overlooking / loss of outlook, however they conclude there would be no such harm and this would not amount to a sustainable reason for refusal. He said the applicant has been given no opportunity to put in any amended proposals relating to the officer’s concerns regarding building design and composition of the single storey bike store at the front of the site. He said the four storey building will be in keeping with the majority of other buildings with the exception of the adjoining surgery building which is not an appropriate bench mark. The penthouse forming the 5th storey, will be set back from main frontage line of the building, therefore its overall height will not appear significantly different to other buildings given angle of view from street level. The building will have modern technology: solar panel, water efficiency measures and much improved floor space. The office floor space has been occupied by Astec Computing since 1995, the company has expanded and the building is no longer practical for modern office day use. Given the almost Art deco design of the existing building, the committee report suggestion that the replacement building should include curved elements, will not reflect the character or character of other buildings in the vicinity. He said the proposed office accommodation on the ground floor, will be painted with light painted render, in contrast to the other three floors above, which are to be painted in grey render, making it a striking addition to street scene. The penthouse at the top floor level will be covered in zinc cladding. For these reasons, he said the applicant should be granted planning permission.
The Principal Planning Officer, Mr Temple, explained that Highways had not raised any objection on highway grounds because enough parking spaces had been proposed for cars / bicycles and the access was considered to be an improvement to the existing. Regarding the doctors surgery, he said non-residential buildings have less protection and therefore they were unable to raise an objection on the impact to the doctors surgery. He said he was surprised the doctors had not seen the yellow site notice. The drainage issue he said would be addressed by condition. Regarding maximising profit, he said they had a viability assessment submitted by Mr Pickup and were independently assured that the development would not make a profit, hence they did not ask for contributions or affordable housing. Regarding Mr Pickup’s presentation, he said his comments on viability; residential amenity are not reasons for refusal, and that his reason for refusal had been based on scale; mass, layout, design and the blank wall sections facing Ponswood Road. Regarding negotiations, he said they provided an opportunity for the applicant to withdraw the application and no pre-application advice was carried out before the application was submitted. He confirmed the application is in Wishing tree Ward (not Silverhill). He said the policy referred to by Mr Pickup does not apply to the western area, but they would still have regard to it. He said it had not been demonstrated how the current building can be sufficiently upgraded to be used.
Having regard to the scheme, the Planning Services Manager said that the proposal must not be out of keeping or harmful to the area, and confirmed that their recommendation for refusal had been based on scale, mass, length and design.
Councillor Beaver proposed a motion to refuse the application as set out in the resolution below. This was seconded by Councillor Scott.
RESOLVED – (Unanimously) that the Planning Permission be refused for the following reasons:
The development by reason of its scale, mass layout and design and blank wall sections facing Ponswood Road would result in harm to the character and appearance of the area and not achieve an active or attractive frontage to Ponswood Road and fail to take opportunities to improve the character and appearance of the area contrary to Hastings Development Management Plan policy DM1, section 2 of the Homes and Communities Document Urban Design Lessons: Housing Layout and Neighbourhood Quality (2014) guidance, paragraphs 127 and 130 of the National Planning Policy Framework, "Consider Layout" Paragraph: 024 Reference ID: 26-024-20140306, "Consider Scale" Paragraph: 026 Reference ID: 26-026-20140306 and "Housing Design Issues" Paragraph: 040 Reference ID: 26-040-20140306.
The position of bicycle and bin stores would appear overly dominant and harmful in the street scene having regard to their prominent position relative to the building and established building line contrary to Hastings Development Management Plan policy DM1, section 2 of the Homes and Communities Document Urban Design Lessons: Housing Layout and Neighbourhood Quality (2014) guidance, paragraphs 127 and 130 of the National Planning Policy Framework, "Consider Layout" Paragraph: 024 Reference ID: 26-024-20140306, "Consider Scale" Paragraph: 026 Reference ID: 26-026-20140306 and "Housing Design Issues" Paragraph: 040 Reference ID: 26-040-20140306.
Note to the Applicant
Statement of positive engagement: In dealing with this application Hastings Borough Council has actively sought to work with the applicant in a positive and proactive manner, in accordance with paragraph 38 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
- MAP_Astec House - HS_FA_18_00028_, item 75a PDF 401 KB
- Astec House, 10-12 Sedlescombe Road South - HS-FA-18-00028 -, item 75a PDF 142 KB