Pevensey Bay community rallies to oppose hotel store plan
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A planning application was refused last year to change the ground floor of the Bay Hotel into a convenience store.
The rooms above would still be used for hotel guests.
However, an appeal has been lodged and a final decision it yet to be made.
Residents are against the plans due to traffic worries, concerns over road safety, and lack of parking.
On Friday (July 8) Parish Councillor Roy Jieve arranged a demonstration outside the hotel which was attended by more than 150 people.
He said on the day: “The turnout is fabulous, everyone has made an effort and the passion is showing through."
Yesterday (Monday, July 11) a protest went ahead outside the Civic Community Hall in Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, just before the appeal meeting.
About 30 residents attended and saw the planning inspectorate hear arguments from the teams for and against the proposals, including a representative from the Co-op.
Ward councillor for Pevensey Bay Lin Clark said: “It’s great to see a group supporting it. It makes a lot of difference if people come to these things.”
She said planning appeals were not usually held in-person but this was due to the level of public interest.
Cllr Clark said: “There’s never been anything like this in Pevensey Bay, nothing has caused this much concern before.
“I’m concerned about the traffic and people that park outside on that dangerous corner. We had to fight for years to get traffic lights which help prevent accidents, but this would make things worse. I’ve seen lots of near-misses on that corner already.”
Martin Watson was present at both protests. He wore a t-shirt signed by everyone against the proposal. He said: “There’s a lot of feeling behind this.”
Protestor Margaret Ferraro said she ‘cannot understand’ why the proposals have been put forward.
She added: “I had a salon for 20 years in Pevensey Bay and the traffic was chaos then – big lorries can’t get round that corner and vehicles often have to reverse back or get jack-knifed.
"We do not need a Co-op, we’ve got a perfectly good shop in the village and big stores close by too.”
The planning inspectorate will now make the final decision on the proposals.