‘Tick box’ engagement with residents over 100 ‘retirement’ homes in Easebourne
Residents faced with living next to 111 new homes on the King Edward VII estate near Easebourne are fuming at a lack of engagement from the prospective developer.
Two planning applications have been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority, one for 93 dwellings on Kings Drive East, and one for 18 homes at Superintendants Drive.
Another plan for six homes on land at Superintendants Drive is the subject of a ‘minor’ variation to increase the number of homes to 18.
Both developments by Probitas are intended to provide a series of ‘retirement’ one and two bedroom apartments, restricted to use by people aged 55 and older.
But residents in Sir Geoffery Todd Walk are hoping their objections will be noted – particularly given an apparent lack of efforts from the developer to listen to their concerns.
A steering group to oppose the plans said the only interaction they had had with Probitas was one two-hour presentation in June, which left limited time for questions and ‘a box-ticking exercise devoid of any enthusiasm by the presenters’.
Their objection added: “It left the residents who attended concerned, dispirited and angry. There was no offer of a follow-up meeting, once residents had had time to absorb what was presented. It was to be a one-off event.”
Resident Ian Milne added that he was concerned about the ‘piecemeal’ development of the historic area, and the lack of parking provision, at 124 spaces for both sites.
In its application, Probitas has argued the homes are an ‘enabling development’ to secure long-promised work to the hospital estate chapel, which remains on the ‘building at risk’ register.
It claims City and Country, which was originally given charge of developing and restoring the estate, is ‘struggling financially’ and the scheme as it stands for a shop or bistro at the chapel is not commercially viable.