Development plans for former Eastbourne nursing homes to return for decision

Controversial housing proposals are set to go back before Eastbourne planners after a lengthy deferral.

On Tuesday (March 22), Eastbourne Borough Council is set to consider a pair of applications to demolish the former Summerdown and Pentlow nursing home sites in Summerdown Road and build 24 new flats and houses in their place.

The applications, which are both recommended for refusal, had last been before the committee in September last year. At that meeting, councillors were told they were ‘duty bound’ to defer their decision, as the applicant had proposed a number of last minute changes in an effort to overcome a recommendation for refusal. 

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Since that meeting, the applicant’s changes have come forward in the form of a fresh pair of applications, with no changes made to the previous scheme. In light of this, the committee needs to give its final verdict on the original applications. 

Artist's impression of the original plans for the Summerdown and Pentlow former nursing home sites

Officers say their previous concerns — around harm to the character of the surrounding area — still stand and are still recommending the applications be refused.

In a report to be considered by the committee, a council planning officer said: “It is considered that the residential re-development of each site is acceptable in principle.

“The proposed development would secure a policy compliant provision of affordable housing, allowing for offset because of Vacant Building Credit.

Summerdown Nursing Home in Summerdown Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191103-113600008

“However, it is considered that, whilst the proposed development would provide a benefit in terms of the provision of new dwellings of a variety of sizes, this would be outweighed by the significant harm the development would have upon the prevailing character of the surrounding area and, therefore, it is recommended that the application is refused.”

The new proposals would see a significantly reduced amount of development on the sites. Put together the new applications seek permission for 10 houses, down from the 24 houses and flats of the original proposals. 

They are expected to come forward to the committee at a later date.

For further information on these new proposals see application references 220025 and 220045 on the Eastbourne Borough Council website.

Pentlow Nursing Home in Summerdown Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191103-113549008

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