Plans have been submitted to change the use of 70 New Town, premises occupied by Magnet and Saffron and Sycamore, from retail to residential.

Plans approved to change Saffron and Sycamore premises to residential

Plans have been approved to turn retail premises at New Town, Uckfield, into residential accommodation.

Wealden District Council decided on June 28, 2016 that prior approval was not required for a planning application.

From our story on May 12, 2016: The shop at 70 New Town is currently occupied by Magnet magazine and Saffron and Sycamore. Those businesses are not mentioned in the planning application which is before Wealden Council.

Adele Tratham who, with her husband Ollie owns Magnet and Saffron and Sycamore, said they have no knowledge of the planning application and as far as they are concerned they are continuing to trade as normal.

Adele said this morning: “I am in shock. This has come out of the blue. We have had no information from the landlord at all about this. I would have thought they would have told us out of courtesy if they were planning to utilise the break clause or kick us out.”

Adele added that they were two years into a six year lease which included a break clause after three years and they were checking to see whether the break clause could be utilised by the owner of the property as well as themselves.

The proposal for a change from retail to residential use has been made on behalf of Warwick Way Properties. It relates to both ground floor and basement of 70 New Town.

The planning application says: “We do not believe it will be inappropriate for the unit to be converted to residential use given the particular circumstances of the unit and its location.

“This is an isolated and peripheral unit that is separated from other retail uses to the north by the Framfield Road and a distance of approximately 70 metres.

“There is no established retail activity to the south of the unit or in the immediate vicinity across new Town or on Framfield road.

“Adjoining uses on New Town and Framfield Road and directly above the unit are residential. The unit is not located within a key shopping area of the town.”

The application says the unit does not benefit from any means of easy servicing, there are double yellow lines immediately outside and in the vicinity and there is no proper service yard where goods and waste can be store.

It adds the configuration of the internal space is poor, sub-divided into separate areas rather than the single floorplate that is preferred by the majority of tenants.

“The combination of these factors has made the unit unattractive to potential tenants, leading to lengthy letting voids.”

The application says ‘minor alterations’ would be required to convert the ground floor and basement to residential use. These would focus on changes to the windows.

The planning application reference number is WD/2016/1073/P05 and it can be found on the Wealden District Council website.

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