A Bexhill councillor is demanding that action be taken to improve the site of the former Grand Hotel in Sea Road and says it’s an eyesore on the town’s landscape.
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Rother District Councillor (RDC) Charles Clark says it’s time that developers be held to account for the “unsightly” mess on one of the main roads leading into the town and seafront and is “incensed” that its been left for so long with no sign of any work being carried out.“It’s been 10 years since the Grand Hotel burnt down and the land sold to developers.
“The site is overgrown and the surrounding hoarding fences are broken. It’s going to rack and ruin and is in a shocking state. What do visitors think when they come to the town to be greeted with this? It’s an absolute mess - it’s disgraceful.”
The site, at the junction of Sea Road and Jameson Road, is within the town’s conservation area. It became vacant following the demolition of fire damaged buildings and sold to Kempton Carr Croft who applied for planning permission to build 24 apartments in 2005. Concern over the design of the building and lack of affordable housing was raised at subsequent RDC planning meetings. A new applicant, Red Barn Developments Ltd, recently submitted a planning application for 41 flats with underground parking. Cllr Clark says, irrespective of who owns the site, it’s the responsibility of the planning enforcement officer to ensure the site is kept tidy. “They have the powers to do something about it. They’ve got to get it to look respectable. This is a lovely town and that site is bringing it down. Where is the pride in the town if we can’t even do the basics right?”
RDC can demand action using a Section 215 order when a site becomes an eyesore but they don’t have powers to force redevelopment/development. A spokesman said: “We have not received any complaints about the Grand Hotel site, which is currently surrounded by hoarding. We will always investigate when complaints are received and take action where necessary.”