A plan to develop Pensand House in Hythe came to the attention of Labour Town Councillor Laura Sullivan after the Plans & Works Committee, on which she sits, objected to the original planning application. Pensand House provides some of the few affordable homes in the area, and concerns are that the proposed development — to increase the building by two stories with six new penthouse apartments — will inevitably find those on low incomes evicted in favour of profit.
Worry for social housing tenants
Laura says, “I would urge people to look at Planning Application Y17/1543/SH and consider making an objection. There is a proposal to increase the height of the building by two floors, which in turn will have an impact on how high subsequent developments are built on the seafront.”
“The work to this building is unnecessary and will totally disrupt the lives of the people living there. Although this is not grounds for a planning objection, it surely should be taken into account — as the fact this is affordable housing. We need social housing and affordable housing in Hythe, as much of the former council housing has been purchased under right to buy schemes.”
“The district council should do more to get developers to provide affordable housing. The proposed alterations to this building potentially mean that the people who live there can no longer afford to stay.”
“Some of the residents have not been served official notice of this work to their flats through formal letters. A notice was placed on a tree which many residents might not see.”
Pensand House is privately owned and looks as though it is now up for sale. As a building in a prime location, the owners are clearly looking to get higher-paying tenants in.
Other reasons to object:
• Intensification – the density of the dwellings on the site compared to others in similar central locations
Can the design alterations accommodate two levels of penthouse units?
• The increased height will alter the relationship and harmony between the new taller building and its neighbours. It will disrupt the vistas in the area. An additional storey would take the roof line above that of neighboring buildings on South Road, causing the building to become obtrusive.
• Parking is a big issue in Hythe because of the level of development taking place. South Road is now affected by the parking restrictions on Princes Parade, which has forced more people to park in the street.