Development plans for former Bexhill bakery building

Former Earl's Baker in Sidley
Former Earl's Baker in Sidley

Developers have put forward plans to build flats above the former Earl’s Bakery building in Sidley. 

In an application submitted to Rother District Council, developers are seeking planning permission to build a Mansard roof extension on top of 21 Ninfield Road, creating two flats in the new space.

Developers say the scheme aims to set a precedent for building housing on top of the existing shops in the street.

In the application, a spokesman for the developer said: “Our proposal, if successful, will be the first Mansard on this row of shops. 

“However, the row of shops lends itself to such development. It is not widely overlooking or overlooked, and there is great advantage to utilising this previously unused space within the development boundary. 

“If all other occupants [of Ninfield Road] where to undertake a similar proposal then there could be a total gain of 10 Units, each with a two-bedroom property.”

The application also includes plans to convert the ground floor of building – vacant since the closure of Earl’s Bakery in July 2017 –  from a cafe into shop space with a further one-bedroom flat to its rear.

Two more flats (already approved under a previous planning application) will be on the first floor of the building, bringing the total of flats in the building up to five.

The scheme has already seen some interest from local residents, with planners receiving several letters of support since submission.

In one letter, supporter Ian Mantel said: “It is good to see this rather sad 1970s property being considered for a quality renovation. 

“It is great that the high street shop front will be retained, thereby supporting the ‘village’ feel of Sidley, yet at the same time quality residential accommodation, much needed according to local press and politicians, will be provided. 

“The elevations are in keeping and recent development in Sidley, especially the old school, has shown that three-storey property is not unsightly or intrusive. 

“Let’s hope this is the first of more improvements to this sadly dated shopping parade.”

Planners have also received some more general comments raising concerns about the proposed layout of the shop and the possibility of a fast food premises on the building.

For further details see application reference RR/2019/1874/P on the Rother District Council website.

READ MORE: Former Bexhill bakery site sells after bidding war

Update: Bailiffs called in to bakery firm