‘Architectural gem’ is given protected status

Park Close, Eastbourne - a lovely close with a lot of character SUS-140728-091222001
Park Close, Eastbourne - a lovely close with a lot of character SUS-140728-091222001

A street described as a ‘jewel in Eastbourne’s crown’ is set to be protected from any unwelcome future development after the council voted in favour of an Article 4 Direction.

Residents of Park Close in Upperton will now be limited by the amount of changes they can make to their property in order to retain the much-loved character of the area.

An Article 4 Direction is used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a conservation area. Park Close is one of 12 conservation areas in Eastbourne but the first to receive an Article 4 Direction.

Councillor John Ungar brought the motion to a meeting of Eastbourne Borough Council last week on behalf of the local planning committee and all councillors voted in favour of the Article 4 Direction being made on the road.

Cllr Ungar said, “Park Close is a jewel in our crown. It’s the sort of thing recorded on the set of a film but it isn’t a film, it’s the real world with real people living there. We want to preserve that nice, beautiful environment and support the residents in doing that. We can ensure no untoward development goes ahead, for example knocking down a wall for a parking place or chimneys being removed.

“In taking control of that, we are protecting a really important architectural gem.”

Annabelle West, Councillor for the Upperton Ward, added, “The residents of Park Close are really very pleased. Having spoken to them recently, they welcomed it because they do like their close the way it is - it’s quite unique.”

For the residents of Park Close, the Article 4 Direction means a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been permitted development. Any planning applications received for the area will be subject to a thorough debate and discussion to ensure any changes are in keeping with the protected conservation area in question.