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beach tavern, image credit, jan barronn

image credit: Jan Barron

Bay Life understands that a report is to be drawn up following a visit to the Beach Tavern site in Pevensey Bay, as a result of environmental concerns.

We understand that the visit took place in recent days following concerns expressed in the community, shared by Pevensey Parish Council and residents, about the state of the building. We understand that the visit included officers from both Rother and Wealden Council.

The boarded up Beach Tavern site is beginning to look forlorn, neglected and an eyesore to residents and visitors to the Bay.

Questions about what is to happen to the building have been brought into sharp relief by the £1 million renovation of the Bay Hotel, which sits adjacent to the Beach Tavern site.

Being at such a focal location and in such a state, the building continues to be a talking point amongst local residents.

Pevensey Parish Council is known to have worked hard to see that environmental concerns about the state of the building are addressed.

The fate of the Beach Tavern site is still yet to be decided.

The matter has now dragged on for over two and a half years.

On seeing the initial proposal for a three storey set of flats, on 2 March 2017, John Davies, said, “I have just read the Journal about the 3 storey building that is proposed for Pevensey Bay. I have lived in Pevensey Bay for 38 years. It is too big and looks like a 1950s East German prison, totally out of character with what is in the Bay, not exactly a white elephant. more like a dirty great big brown elephant.

The application was rejected by Wealden Council. Owner, Ray Foss, appealed. Sheila Holden, the inspector who wrote the report dismissing the appeal on behalf of the Inspectorate, with the first application, said that the main question was the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area.

In her conclusion she said, the Framework also advises that planning decisions should ensure that developments establish a strong sense of place, which will function well and add to the overall quality of an area over the long term.

A second application has fared little better in terms of opinion amongst local residents.

The second application was no more connected to the community than the first application. A huge palm tree had been stuck in place at the front in the public sketch provided.

In the third proposal, the essential difference was not in scale, but in the shrinking of the size of the flats proposed. The three storey scale of the proposed project remained.

The distractive palm tree at the front of the building had been replaced by a small herd of baby elephant palm trees.

At the time, the Pevensey Bay Journal commented, “the gestation period of an elephant is about 22 months, about the same time that this wildly incongruous proposal has taken to reach the third drawing board.

“The Journal says that this third iteration of a building has no sense of place and that the application should be dismissed”.

Martin Beeney, whose family live just 8.6 metres away from the proposed development appeared to catch the spirit of sentiment expressed by the community.

He said (8 May 2017), ““it will be the beginning of the end for the village if this building goes ahead”.

Now over two and a half years later since the first application, we still have no decision about the fate of the building.