Public consultation shows plans for former Eastbourne boarding school
Developer James Taylor and Architect Jo Saady hosted a site meeting with representatives from the Eastbourne Society, the Meads Community Association and members of the Council’s Conservation Area Advisory Group.
A pre-application meeting then took place with Eastbourne Borough Council and there is now an exhibit open to the public to view development plans, meet the team and provide feedback.
The proposed plan is to convert the three original school buildings – Dunn House, Boston House and Moira House – into apartments, and the new school structures would be replaced with large family houses.
The end result should create 18 houses and 33 apartments.
The on-site public consultation started today (Tuesday, October 12) and is open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. until Friday (October 15) and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 16.
Speaking ahead of the consultation opening, James said, “If you understand the site, design it in a sympathetic way and listen to people – they’re generally very supportive.
“We spoke to the neighbors and consulted them heavily. “
The consultation focuses on the impact the plans will have on the community, the economy and the environment.
Jo said she was a “very heritage-oriented architect” so a lot of work has been done with local conservation groups and the council to make sure the development is “done right” as has been done. James said.
Large screens are being staged throughout the consultation to show members of the public what the finished site will look like, which includes plenty of green space and underground parking so that “you don’t look at a sea of cars,” James said. .
He said the street scene was designed to keep the scenery from being disturbed.
James said: “We have the South Downs National Park behind us so you will only be able to see the roof of a house.”
Jo said: “We consulted so many people because everything revolves around the residents. “
Once the consultation is complete on Saturday afternoon, the next steps will be to make changes to the plans in response to public comments, and then to submit the full planning request by the end of the year. James is hoping a decision will be made in the spring of 2022 for work to begin.
He said the plans will create 200 jobs and take a total of two years.
James, who grew up in Eastbourne and hopes to return there permanently, said: “It’s already a moving project. Doing this in my hometown means getting it right.
“When you compare it to other counties your quality of life in Eastbourne is so high. There aren’t many places you can live that are nicer than this one.
Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell visited the consultation today (Tuesday 12 October).
She said: “Three of the buildings on this site have architectural value to Eastbourne and their significant redevelopment is important to our heritage and our townscape.
“During the consultation event to review the plans, I did not miss an opportunity to lobby for employment and training opportunities for the local population and to point out the government’s start-up program to bring the 16 at 24 to find a job.
“These are important developments as this step forward and the ‘added value’ for our city in this way, especially in emerging green industries incorporating cutting edge and high-tech ecological innovations and more traditional catering skills.”
Members of the planning team will be on hand to answer questions and explain the development to members of the public this week. There are also comment forms for you to leave your thoughts.
For more information, visit moirahouse.uk