Residents lose their battle to save house

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DEVELOPERS have been given the go-ahead to demolish a bungalow in a conservation area, despite more than 100 residents signing a petition in protest.

They want to replace the property in Ashburnham Road with a two-storey house.

But residents in the Tillington Terrace Conservation Area set up a petition, saying the proposal would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding landscape.

More than 20 people also sent letters of objection to the council’s planning department.

At the council’s planning meeting on Wednesday (July 17), Gareth Lucas, speaking for residents, said: “We gained 108 signatures on the petition in a very short space of time.

“The physical effect of the proposed development will be an acute invasion of privacy. It will radically alter the character and appearance of Clive Vale.”

Cos Polito, agent for the applicants, said: “The existing bungalow has no distinctive architectural style nor value and dates from the 1950s. There are also several periods of architecture in this area and modern buildings have been accepted for approval to be built in other conservation areas in Hastings. The Jerwood Gallery is one example.”

Cllr John Hodges spoke in favour of objectors. He said: “This part of Ashburnham Road probably offers the best vista in the whole of Hastings. A change in height to two-storey would obliterate this view for the community at large.

“These proposals will drive a chasm through what has been protected for many years.”

A report by planning officer Tom Tanner, which was presented at Wednesday’s meeting, said: “The proposal is to be taller than the existing bungalow by a maximum of 1.6 metres.

“This will still ensure the important vista from Ashburnham Road towards the Old Town and the East Hill.”

Cllr Godfrey Daniel, chairman of the planning committee, said: “You have to put this into perspective. This is only taking away one bungalow and not destroying the Old Town as we know it. People have the right to develop their land.”

Councillors voted nine to one in favour of the application.