Fight continues to stop bowling club proposal

churchill plan for Gullivers bowls club development
churchill plan for Gullivers bowls club development

Opponents to development at Gullivers Bowling Club on Knole Road are preparing to battle Churchill Retirement Living once more.

This is the third time the two sides have clashed in front of Rother District Council’s planning committee but this time Churchill says it is “hopeful” its modified proposals will be approved.

The intention is to create 39 one and two-bedroomed homes with communal features and a state-of-the-art bowling facility - this new application will be heard on Thursday April 10.

Resident Anna Selby believes it is the company’s aim “to destroy a beautiful Victorian garden square that has been there for 120 years.”

She said: “Having been rejected twice, you would have imagined that Churchill would have got the message that the council, the planners and the residents don’t want this development.”

Previous hearings and appeals had cost thousands of pounds, she claimed, adding: “I’m sure most Bexhill residents could think of better things to spend this money on.

“While Churchill have tweaked their proposal, there is really no change to the problems it will cause - existing residents in Knole Road will lose privacy and light, there will be dire parking problems in an already congested street, risk of flooding - indeed the existing bowling club was flooded and had to be pumped out this winter, and there were sink holes (from water) in the road even before soak-away land disappears, and is concreted over. Churchill’s proposal is a purely commercial one that is of no benefit to the local community and destroys the last open green space in east Bexhill.”

However Andrew Burgess, Churchill’s planning director, highlighted a “massive need” for private sheltered housing in Bexhill and believes the plan will bring benefit to the local economy.

He said: “We have followed the guidance of the Planning Inspector’s decision of January 2013 which accepted the principle of this scheme and set a blueprint only requiring detailed design changes.

“We have engaged in pre-application discussions with the council to refine the design and bring forward a high-quality development.”

Tina Stanley of Gullivers Bowls Club said it is “desperate” for the improved facilities and described the proposal as “perfectly acceptable.”