INITIAL plans to demolish two Victorian villas and replace them with a modern block of flats have been given the go-ahead despite opposition.
The proposed development would see numbers 1 and 3 Chapel Park Road, St Leonards, replaced with a new block of 29 one and two bedroom flats, with underground parking.
A petition and 62 letters of objection were received against the application, with concerns including loss of historic architecture, impact on the character and appearance of the area, land instability, and traffic issues and safety.
It is an identical scheme to one that was granted permission on appeal in 2010, and at a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday (November 6), councillors voted in favour of the latest outline application by a majority of eight to two.
Finer details such as appearance and landscaping would be discussed at a later date.
Councillor Richard Street said: “Five years ago this committee voted in favour of an identical application.
“If we were to refuse it there would be a very strong likelihood of an appeal being successful.”
Councillor Bruce Dowling said that he did not like the plans but could not see any reason to refuse them under planning law, adding: “It may be when the detailed application comes in, we can do something about it.”
Ward councillor Andrew Cartwright, speaking at the meeting, against the proposal, described the building as an obstacle to regeneration, saying: “The problem with this proposed building is its large size in relation to adjacent buildings.”