Plans to convert a listed building into a holiday let have been turned down at appeal. 

In a decision notice published on Thursday, a planning inspector has dismissed a pair of appeals connected with plans to convert 4 Church Street in Seaford from a residence into holiday accommodation. 

The appeal covered two applications, the first seeking planning permission for the change of use as well as internal alterations, including the installation of a sauna in the property’s basement. The inspector notes that this use had already been ongoing for several years. 

The second application was for listed building consent as the property is both Grade II listed adjacent to other listed buildings. It is also within the Seaford Town Centre Conservation Area. 

Both of these applications had been rejected by Lewes District Council in October last year. In doing so, council planning officers ruled the building was an ‘unacceptable location’ for a holiday let, as it would result in noise and disturbance to neighbours and harm the conservation area.

The planning inspector disagreed with the concerns about noise and disturbance, but ultimately ruled that the conversion would cause unacceptable harm to the conservation area. This was linked to the waste generated by using the property as holiday accommodation. 

In their decision notice, the inspector said: “I note the contribution to the local economy that the occupiers of the holiday let would bring. Whilst this is a public benefit, I do not consider that this would be significantly greater than if the property were occupied as a dwelling house, and it would not outweigh the harm that I have identified. 

“Furthermore, no substantive evidence has been provided that the use of the property as a dwelling house is not its optimum viable use. 

“For these reasons, whilst the proposed change of use would be acceptable in terms of the effects on nearby occupiers, I am not satisfied that it would not detract from the character and appearance of the area, including the [conservation area] and the setting of the Grade II listed appeal building.”

The inspector also considered an application for costs alongside the planning appeal. While they noted some errors in the council’s assessment, the inspector said this did not amount to unreasonable behaviour, so the costs appeal was dismissed. 

For further information see application reference LW/22/0559 on the Lewes District Council website.