38 Market Hill, St Leonard’s and Walnuttree

B/14/00543/LBC 38 Market Hill (corner of Market Hill and Station Road)

We supported this proposal earlier and particularly welcomed the provision of 4 residential units within the town centre. We have no adverse comments on the revised staircase layout in the Station Road block which makes for a more workable ground floor.
In terms of external finishes we wish to see the brickwork, which has been badly repointed in part, fully repointed in lime mortar. If it were possible to retain a fragment of the lettering it would serve as a memory of the building’s past. External painting of frames should be in grey/green or similar, certainly not white.

B/14/00585/FUL   St Leonards Hospital, Newton Road

We viewed earlier proposals and supported the proposal, now maintained , to reduce the use of Burroughs Piece/Belle Vue Road to just three new dwellings, bringing reduced traffic with the hospital traffic eliminated.
We are pleased to see the retention of the original building and its conversion to attractive dwellings. We are less happy about the new dwellings which seem bland and lacking in character with no reference to the strong external treatment of the retained building, or to the town’s rich heritage. There seems to be a lot of space dedicated to car use and we wondered why the dwellings down to Newton Road could not have been in the form of a stepped terrace, making a stronger visual impact as seen from the road.
We are concerned about the apparent lack of projection of the impact of traffic entering/leaving Newton Road. Future and related nearby developments include the ex tax office site, the BT site and the Belle Vue complex, as well as the possible reconfiguration of the traffic intersection. The lack of a continuous pavement on the Belle Vue side has been commented on by people staying at the hotel further up this road.

B/14/00499/FUL   Walnuttree Hospital

There are two negative aspects to these proposals, the omission of the development of the outpatients building, Blocks B and C, for community use, and the lack of affordable housing. These, we appreciate, may be the financial consequences of retaining and converting the historic building which is of primary importance. Building B does still house the vagrants’ cells in their basic condition. These will now be lost but a comprehensive visual and historical record should be made and incorporated in the Museum Trust’s archive.
We question why the new blocks should comprise 3 storeys with a roof on top. A revised section which incorporated the roof space in the top floor would lower the ridge line and improve the views of the historic building from the meadows, and in the reverse direction from the top floors of the spine block.
When the proposals went on public display it was evident that much thought had gone into the landscaping of the courtyards. We were assured that they would be an integral element in the planning application. We would like confirmation that this will be conditioned since they will be an important and attractive element and should not be left to the risk of being the victim of the developer’s cost savings. The courtyard to Blocks B and C should be landscaped to a similar standard within the application.
It would seem sensible to withdraw the application while the issues we raise of the section of the new terraces and the landscaping are resolved.