A hotel’s veranda has been removed after it was built with no planning permission.

The structure outside the front of the Congress Hotel in Eastbourne, previously described as an eyesore, was ordered to be removed due to its “degrading and harmful” impact on the area.

It included raised decking and pergolas in the front garden but Eastbourne Borough Council said this went against the town’s “historic character”.

The owner applied for retrospective planning permission which was declined. They then launched an appeal.

The Argus: After the removal of the verandaAfter the removal of the veranda (Image: EBC)

Eastbourne Borough Council served a planning enforcement notice in March 2022 but this was put on hold due to the appeal.

The council said that its enforcement team took action to remove the structures and decking in December after the “hotel owner refused to fully comply”.

It said a charge will be put on the land for the cost of the work at the hotel in Carlisle Road.

Councillor Colin Swansborough, cabinet member for community spaces, said: “Planning rules are in place for good reason, particularly in conversation areas where it is important that we protect the historic character and appearance of buildings and streets.

“Those that contravene planning rules and ignore enforcement notices, as in this case, do so at their own peril and cost, as we will take direct action to carry them out ourselves when necessary.”

Elizabeth Lawrence, a planning inspector, said in January last year: “In terms of form, detailed design and materials they fail to respect or blend in with the character or appearance of the host villas or the street scene as a whole.  

“They breach the front building line of the host building and totally dominate the front garden area, obscuring views of the lower parts of the host building.

“They have resulted in the front of the property appearing cramped, cluttered and visually degraded.

“The proposed development is totally out of keeping with the host property and its setting and has a degrading and harmful impact on the character and appearance of the area."

While she acknowledged the catering facilities provided extra business for the hotel, the inspector said the damage to the conservation area “clearly outweighed” this.