Plans from the Uckfield-based civil engineering firm C J Thorne & Co to create more office space within the roof of its building at Union Point in Eastbourne Road have been approved.
Officers from Wealden Council said the proposed development, details below, was in a sustainable location, would support the development of a long-established local business, whilst having an acceptable impact on visual, environmental, and residential amenity.
Neighbouring properties had raised concern about overlooking from roof lights proposed at the first floor level and about light spillage from the roof lights late at night, but the council said there appeared to be no objection to the extension itself.
Conditions have been attached to the approval saying that roof windows on the north west and south east elevations should be fitted with obscure glazing before first occupation.
From the Uckfield News original story on October 5: The proposal, contained in a planning application before Wealden Council, is to create an additional 329 sq m of space on a new first floor, giving a total floor area of 808 sq m within the building.
The company says it wants to improve facilities available and working conditions for existing staff.
If approved there would be an open plan office space, or drawing room, three separate offices, a storage room, an enlarged second kitchen/canteen area, meeting/entertaining room with video conference and training facilities.
The existing pitched roof would be extended to cover the whole roof and would not exceed the current ridge height.
Seventeen new roof lights would be added plus two larger roof lights above the main open plan office and kitchen/canteen space.
Provision for 26 car parking spaces at the front of the premises would remain and there is additional car parking in the large yard behind the main office building.
The plans also include eight covered racks for bicycles, a small gym with showers and lockers in new WC areas.
C J Thorne is planning incentives for staff to encourage alternatives to car use, and a statement included with the planning application says the larger kitchen/canteen area would reduce shopping trips into Uckfield.
Other measures include a van/car pooling scheme and increasing the number of hybrid vehicles.
A senior member of staff would be appointed Travel Plan Co-ordinator to help manage the implementation of a travel plan within the business.
The statement concludes that the proposal would enhance the established, aware-winning business and complies with Wealden planning policy and design principles.
It continues: “The proposal would have a reducing effect on the existing traffic. With a reduction in traffic generation this could lead to a resulting improvement to the nitrogen deposits within the Special Protection Area of the Ashdown Forest.
“Overall, the development proposal will significantly improve the facilities internally whilst maintaining the aesthetic appearance externally.”