‘Bright future’ unveiled for Eastbourne’s TJ Hughes building

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The owners of the TJ Hughes building in Eastbourne have revealed proposals for the future of the site.

The Rachel Charitable Trust (RCT) are the owners of the 1920s building which has been vacant since May 2019.

The trust says it’s been been working with the Eastbourne Society and the Conservation Area Advisory Group, as well as gathering opinions from the community.

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RCT can now reveal it hopes to retain the much-loved original façade of the building, as well as introduce a grey mansard zinc roof.

How TJ Hughes could look. Photo from Rachel Charitable Trust.How TJ Hughes could look. Photo from Rachel Charitable Trust.
How TJ Hughes could look. Photo from Rachel Charitable Trust.

In May 2021 it was reported the site could be converted into shops and flats.

Then in November 2021 real estate firm Capreon put in proposals to Eastbourne Borough Council for the building to be demolished and replaced with a six-storey mixed-use building to be known as Burlington Corner. The plans were for it to have commercial space on the ground floor and 48 apartments on the floors above ranging from studio flats to three-bed apartments.

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Major refurbishment of former TJ Hughes building in Eastbourne announced

There have been worries over if the building was to be demolished.

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SAVE Britain’s Heritage released a report to say it would be an ‘irrevocable loss’ if the building was knocked down.

Now RCT says the ground floor will be for commercial use with 65 apartments of various sizes above.

There would also be a communal garden for residents, 70 cycle spaces, and two disabled parking spaces.

A spokesperson for RCT said: “We have listened and taken on board the community’s views and we are proud of the revised scheme. We believe this building has a bright future, enhancing the Conservation Area and bringing further vitality and investment into the town centre for years to come.”

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Ian Perrell, Director of the Harris Partnership, the architects behind the changes, said: “We are thrilled with the outcome and the early feedback has been incredibly positive. We have had some major design and viability hurdles to overcome in order to keep the facade, but it was definitely worth all the effort.

"I think the design is sympathetic, will stand the test of time and be a fantastic asset to the town.”