Conversion to homes of a former print works in New Town, Uckfield, has been refused planning permission.
The premises have stood empty for some time having operated as a printers for nearly 40 years, having previously been a milk depot.
Three terraced homes
Wealden District Council, the planning authority, turned down the application to demolish the premises and build three terraced homes at 40 Framfield Road.
The council said the current commercial permission was now more suitably housed on an industrial estate.
It said the nature of Framfield Road was changing. Historically ground floors had been converted to commercial use but these were fewer in number as shopping trends change.
Residential is appropriate
The council said conversion to residential was appropriate, considering the nature of nearby properties.
In refusing the application, the Wealden planning department concluded the proposal was a “poor design” which failed to take account of the existing street scene and the spaces between buildings, resulting in a “cramped and contrived form of development, which would be out of character with the immediate surroundings”.
It would, said a council report, also have an adverse effect on the occupiers of 42 Framfield Road in terms of an “oppressive new built form and loss of outlook”.
A similar application to convert commercial premises in Framfield Road to housing is also before Wealden District Council.
Uckfield Town Council has said the application for Portland House (above) should be refused to give more time for the ground-floor offices to be marketed.