Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to reject plans to turn the Priory on Franklands Road, Haywards Heath into flats at a planning meeting on Thursday 16th February.
The plan was to turn the convent building and part of the chapel into 17×1 Bedroom, 17×2
Bedroom and 7×3 Bedroom Flats.
In addition, the application was also for an additional 3-storey building to be constructed on the same site which would have provided 4×1 Bedroom and 8×2 Bedroom flats. It was this part of the application which caused the council to unanimously reject it.
The proposed layout for the Priory site. Note the new building to the right of the site at the entrance from Syresham Gardens.
The officer report which the committee ultimately referred to, stated:
The proposed new build element of the proposal is considered, through its design and form, to have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area. Given these concerns, it is considered that the weight that can be attached to the provision of housing is diminished. It is accepted that the conversion of the existing convent buildings would bring about benefits relating to their on-going maintenance and up keep. Given the significance importance and weight that should be attached to the identified harm of the heritage asset it is not considered that in this instance the public benefits of the proposed development outweigh this harm and as such the application should be refused.
The committee did however, unanimously approve a second application for the same site that provided Listed building consent to facilitate the conversion of the existing former convent accommodation building to form 41 residential units.
This is the convent accommodation that the council have approved to be converted into flats…if a scheme gets approved.
What happens now?
We must now wait and see if the applicant appeals the decision, comes up with another design for the extra building, or decides to just convert the convent and part of the chapel for residential use.
We’ll keep you updated.