Pevensey hotel’s plans to convert ground floor into convenience store up for decision

Proposals to convert the ground floor of an iconic hotel into a convenience store are set to go before Wealden planners next week. 

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 2:42 pm
The Bay Hotel in Pevensey

On Thursday (October 7), Wealden District Council’s planning committee south is set to consider a change of use application connected to The Bay Hotel in Pevensey.  

In the application, the hotel is seeking permission to convert and extend its ground floor, currently a bar and restaurant, to create a convenience store. 

As well as an extension, the conversion would involve alterations to the front of the building including automatic doors replacing the existing front entrance.

Despite the conversion, the upper floors of the building would remain as hotel accommodation.

In a report to the committee, a council planning officer said: “The proposed change of use of the ground floor bar/restaurant to a convenience retail store would retain an alternative commercial use of the premises, thus enabling a business to invest, expand and adapt in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework. 

“Subject to conditions to ensure appropriate access, parking and highway safety, in addition to protecting the character of the host building, the proposal would comply with the relevant local and national plan policies and the Wealden Design Guide. 

“The recommendation is therefore approval.”

While recommended for approval, the proposals have seen objections raised by Pevensey Parish Council and more than 152 local residents and businesses. There were also 14 letters of support.

The objections cover a wide range of issues, including loss of the bar and impact on the historic building. 

Concerns have also been raised by ward councillor Lin Clark (Independent), who argues the use would have a negative impact on traffic congestion and create parking pressures in the surrounding area.

In her reasons for calling in the application, Cllr Clark said: “As there is no dedicated parking for the hotel rooms or the shop this would have a detrimental effect on the already very limited amenity of the village.

“Customers to the shop would no doubt park on the double yellow lines causing a danger so close to the bend.

“There are already problems of illegal parking and a shop would exacerbate the problems.”

Despite Cllr Clark’s concerns, the application has seen no objections raised by East Sussex Highways subject to conditions.

For further details of the proposals see application reference WD/2020/2241/F on the Wealden District Council website.