Plans for a new retirement living complex have been given the go ahead at appeal. 

In a decision notice published on Tuesday (August 29), a planning inspector has allowed an appeal connected with plans to demolish the Seaford and District Constitutional Club in Crouch Lane, Seaford, and build a 40-unit retirement apartment building in its place.

Developer McCarthy and Stone had lodged its appeal on the grounds of non-determination, meaning Lewes District Council had not made a decision on the scheme within the correct time frame.

According to appeal documents, this delay arose as the council had concerns about several elements of the building’s design. These included its impact on the character of the area and its ‘pedestrian legibility’ due to the position of its main entrance.

While the inspector agreed that the scheme was of a ‘poor design’ in terms of pedestrian accessibility, they ultimately found that this harm would be outweighed by its other benefits. 

In their decision notice, the inspector said: “Whilst this specific harm is of significant weight, the identified harm would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the considerable, cumulative benefits that have been identified. Accordingly, the material consideration of the tilted balance… does indicate a decision other in accordance with the development plan in this instance.

“I have taken into account the level of local objection, including from [Seaford] Town Council and locally elected representatives, but the clear need to boost housing delivery to meet identified housing needs, in a scheme which can also valuably retain the existing community facility, means, a decision other than in accordance with the development plan is supported by clear material considerations in this case. 

“Accordingly, the appeal should succeed for the reasons given.”

As well as the apartments, the building will include a replacement for the existing Constitutional Club. 

For further information see application reference LW/22/0356 on the Lewes District Council website.