Decision made on bid to convert former Hastings pub into apartments

A decision has been made on bid to convert a former Hastings pub into apartments.

The proposals involved the conversion and extension of the Royal George pub in Station Road to create eight studio and one-bedroom apartments.

An extra floor would have been added to the building as part of these plans.

The plan was first submitted in December 2019 but no formal decision was taken on the proposals, leading the applicant, Priory Sussex Ltd, to lodge an appeal on the grounds of non-determination.

 Hastings Borough Council defended the appeal, arguing it would have refused planning permission on several grounds, including: impact on the character of the area; impact on neighbours; and living conditions for future residents.

The applicant disputed these reasons and argued that the council’s lack of a five-year supply of housing meant there should be a presumption in favour of development.

They also argued that it would benefit the area by bringing a disused building back into use.

But the planning inspector shared the council’s concerns, refusing planning permission and dismissing the appeal. 

In their decision notice, the inspector wrote: “It is sufficiently clear that the adverse impacts of granting planning permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the [National Planning Policy] Framework taken as a whole.

“The proposal would not therefore constitute sustainable development for which the presumption in favour applies.

“For the reasons given above I conclude that the proposal would fail to accord with the development plan and there are no material considerations, including the framework, that would indicate planning permission should otherwise be granted. 

“The appeal should therefore be dismissed.”