East Grinstead flats approved at former car sales site

Plans to build a block of nine flats on a former car sales site in East Grinstead have been approved by Mid Sussex District Council.

The application for Tower Close was given the nod at a meeting of the planning committee on Thursday (January 13).

This was the fourth application for the site in the space of two years from Willow Developers Ltd.

The previous three had all been refused but officer Steve King told the meeting this latest offering was ‘a well-designed scheme that does makes good use of the site’.

The Tower Close site

Mr King said the layout of the part-two, part-three storey building had ‘overcome the previous reasons for refusal’, which included concerns of a ‘poor-quality living environment for prospective occupiers’.

Other concerns had included the layout of the building, the outlook from some flats and the impact the new build would have on houses in Moat Road.

John Dabell (Con, East Grinstead – Town) said he was ‘much encouraged’ by the new application, adding: “I’m glad to see that the previous applications and the refusals have led to a better design.”

Neville Walker (Con, East Grinstead – Town) added: “Anything on that site is better that what is [there] at the moment – it’s a shambles.”

Proposed design of the new East Grinstead flats: Willow Developers Ltd

The new building will be made up of five one-bedroom, three two-bedroom and one three-bedroom flats.

One of the flats will be on the ground floor, with four on both the first and second floors.

There will be an undercroft with eight parking spaces, seven of which will have electric vehicle charging points, as well as secure parking storage for ten bikes.

The roof will be topped with solar panels.

The previous application from Willow Developers Ltd is still going through the appeal process.

If that appeal is successful, they would be within their rights to build to those, previously refused, designs.

Committee chair Gary Marsh (Con, Ardingly & Balcombe) told the meeting that he hoped they would instead choose to stick with the latest ‘much better’ design.

To view the application in full, log on to pa.midsussex.gov.uk and search for DM/21/3534.