Developer responds to criticism of Ferring proposal

A DEVELOPER has responded to criticism of its proposal to build ten two-bedroom apartments on the site of an historic Ferring cottage.

Artist's impression of a proposed new apartment block in Ferring
Artist's impression of a proposed new apartment block in Ferring

Residents in the village have voiced concerns that the Art Deco development in Beehive Lane would be out of keeping with the area. However, Globe Estates (Southern) Ltd have moved to allay fears in a letter addressed to Ferring Parish Council chairman Carole Robertson.

Tony Harrison, managing director of Globe Estates (Southern) Ltd, said: “Any new building would, by definition, be modern, and great weight has been placed on the fact that the surrounding area was built in the 1920s and 1930s.

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“This was when the Art Deco period was at its height and, as such, the apartments have been designed to reflect the period and character of the area.”

The vacant cottage, nicknamed The Beehive because of its shape and thatched roof, dates back to 1921. Planning permission to demolish the cottage and build four chalet bungalows was granted in 1996, before the current developer was associated with it, and has since been renewed twice since then.

The latest proposal includes 11 parking spaces, cycle parking for each apartment and a communal storage area for items such as mobility scooters.

“Various references have been made to the overdevelopment of the site,” said Mr Harrison. “Our proposed apartments sit on a footprint only a very modest 7.5 per cent larger than the approved chalets and yet provide six additional homes, the type of which are identified as being needed in the neighbourhood plan.”

Mr Harrison said ‘great weight’ was placed on the Ferring Neighbourhood Plan when creating the proposal.

He suggested that the apartments could be a solution to the demand from older homeowners in the area wanting to downsize.

However, Ferring Conservation Group and Mrs Robertson have been vocal in condemning the proposal.

Speaking to the Herald this morning, Mrs Robertson said: “If they want to do something under the neighbourhood plan you would think they would have the common sense to come and talk to the council.

“For instance, Taylor Wimpey came to see us (the developer’s building homes on Grenyers Field). They listened to what residents said, had open days and made alterations. That’s how I would expect a good developer to work. They can’t claim they are following it (Ferring Neighbourhood Plan) when they have never bothered to speak to us and the residents.”

Mr Harrison responded: “Globe is not a national developer but a small, award-winning, family owned, local firm and as such does not have the resources that Taylor Wimpey has behind it.

“The whole point of a Neighbourhood Plan is to establish the general planning policies for the development of use of land in a neighbourhood, like Ferring. Our proposals have been drawn up having considered their plan in very great detail.”

Mrs Robertson said the council will discuss the proposal at its finance meeting on August 23.

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