Agenda item - BH2023/00157 - Rottingdean Bowls Clubhouse, Falmer Road, Rottingdean, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2023/00157 - Rottingdean Bowls Clubhouse, Falmer Road, Rottingdean, Brighton - Full Planning


1.             The Planning Manager introduced the application to the Committee. It was noted that this application had been the subject of a site visit prior to the meeting. It was noted that comments received from the Conservation Advisory Group (CAG), not been included in the report so had been circulated separately.




2.             Ms Chapman and Ms Lovett addressed the Committee in person setting out their objections to the application. Whilst they understood the Clubs desire to improve their facilities, they considered that the roof height and positioning of windows adjacent to neighbouring properties were unacceptable. The access proposed would obstruct the right of way access to their properties and the proposed re-cycling area which would abut the boundary wall with their properties would give rise to nuisance.


3.             Ward Councillor Fishleigh stated that whilst fully supporting the Bowls Club’s desire for improved facilities, she had agreed to assist with fundraising fund raising, she was unable to support it in its current form as she was in agreement that residents’ concerns regarding the roof shape and impact that could have on neighbouring properties had been fully considered and that it should be subject to further consultation with a view to finding a more acceptable solution. Impact on the boundary wall and access to neighbouring properties was of particular concern. The proposed re-cycling area and location of the ground source heat pump also required more careful consideration. The setting of the adjoining 18th century barn also needed to be respected.


4.             Ms Bates the applicant, spoke in support the applicant and was supported by Mr Strassman, the architect for the scheme who was in attendance to answer ant relevant questions. It was explained that the Club which was well supported locally had been in existence since 1934. Until 18 months previously it had been owned and maintained by the City Council who had at that time confirmed that they could no longer afford to maintain the facility, so the Bowls Club had taken on that responsibility. The changing rooms required refurbishment, the toilets were located in an outside block and there were no facilities for the disabled.


          Answers to Committee Member Questions


5.       Councillor Allen enquired regarding access arrangements to the new club house, and it was explained that they would be step free via a new pathway with one step up into the clubhouse itself.


6.       Councillor Pickett referred to the right of way adjacent to the boundary wall being built over and it was confirmed that this was a civil matter on which legal advice needed to be sought separately by the applicant.


7.       In response to questions in relation to the location of the new toilet block by Councillor Robinson it was explained that it was being connected to the main building and extended.


8.       Councillor Lyons referred to concerns that had been expressed in respect of the roof height asking whether it would be possible for this to be reduced. It was explained that the present configuration was a compromise between retaining a pitch to be better in keeping with the heritage features on site and minimising impact on neighbours. It was a compromise solution which was considered acceptable by the Conservation Officer.


9.       Councillor Cattell referred to the bottle recycling bins which would be located in close proximity to neighbouring houses noting that these were in the same location as these existing. However, she noted that bottles being placed for re-cycling could create noise disturbance and enquired whether it was possible for a condition to be included regulating its hours of use. Councillor Loughran, the Chair stated that if bottles could be disposed of from an early hour, seven days a week that could result in disturbance. Ms Bates responded that this was a small bowls club made up of older members which ran between April and September and did not operate early in the morning or until late in the evening. The Planning Manager noted there was a condition restricting hours of use to 8pm.




10.      Councillor Robinson stated that overall, she considered the application to be acceptable and that it would respect the neighbouring barn.


11.      Councillor Earthey enquired regarding the impact on the Barn, as CAG had indicated that they had concerns about that which remained to be addressed. In response to his request, the Planning Manager read out the CAG comments again and noted that Heritage Officers raised no objection to the application. Councillors Earthey and Cattell also enquired regarding the impact on light to the houses neighbouring houses and it was confirmed that it would meet the ’45/25 degree’ rule.


12.      Councillor Loughran, the Chair stated that members needed to consider the quality of the proposed design and its impact on the locally listed heritage asset, though covenants relating to rights of access etc., fell outside the Committee’s remit and could not be considered as part of this application. The Planning Manager explained that the local listing related primarily to impacts on the character of the area from the street, and that the development preserved these views so was appropriate for the townscape.


13.      Councillor Allen stated that overall, the scheme was acceptable as when viewed from the road it was modest in appearance and in view of the fact that it was a small club with older members, he did not consider it would give rise to noise nuisance.




14.      A vote was taken and on a vote of 4 for, 2 against and 3 abstentions planning permission was granted.


15.      RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to grant planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives also set out in the report.  

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