Bexhill bowls club plans thrown out by Court of Appeal

Gullivers bowling club, Bexhill. ENGSUS00120130131102418
Gullivers bowling club, Bexhill. ENGSUS00120130131102418

Controversial plans to redevelop a bowls club and build sheltered apartments have been quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Bexhill resident Anne-Marie Loader was appealing a High Court ruling from last year which saw a top judge uphold Rother District Council’s decision last November to finally grant planning permission for the redevelopment of Gullivers Bowls Club in Knole Road after years of legal wrangling.

Artists impression for plan for Gullivers Bowling Green, Bexhill SUS-160519-112003001

Artists impression for plan for Gullivers Bowling Green, Bexhill SUS-160519-112003001

Ms Loader said, in granting permission, Rother failed to consult the Victorian Society on the impact the development would have on the surrounding area, which includes De La Warr Parade, a Grade-II listed terrace of houses.

A report, produced by a council officer and distributed to members of the planning committee ahead of the decision being made, suggested the Victorian Society had been consulted on the scheme and raised no objections, when in fact the information had never been received as it was sent to a defunct email address.

The impact on the Victorian listed building was a key issue in the determination.

Whilst there was no legal obligation to consult the Victorian Society, the society had objections and its views on the scheme would have been relevant.

Lord Justice Lindblom, sitting at the Court of Appeal with Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice King, said the information in the officer’s report was so ‘significantly’ or ‘seriously’ misleading as to justify the quashing of the planning permission.

A spokesman for Rother District Council said: “We are disappointed at the recent Appeal Court ruling challenging its decision to grant planning permission to Churchill Retirement Living to build 39 private sheltered apartments and provide new bowls facilities; particularly after the High Court had originally ruled in the council’s favour.

“The court’s decision means that the original permission is quashed and the application will now be reconsidered by the planning committee in due course.”

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