Car park management

The Eastbourne pub will turn a car park into a new garden

On Monday October 3, Eastbourne Borough Council’s Planning Committee approved plans for a new outdoor seating area at The Rainbow, a Grade II listed pub in Star Road.

The new area would feature wood-framed seating “pods” and new paving, as well as a new wrought-iron fence and gate.

The plan would see the pub lose its on-site parking, a move, according to its owner, Shoes Simes, intended to improve its business’ environmental credentials.

The Rainbow pub in Star Road, Eastbourne

She said: “My company is working hard to be carbon neutral by 2030 and we are working with a company called Net Zero. It is really important for us to encourage walking and cycling in our company.

“All the advice and information I received [says] having parking spaces does not discourage people from using their car.

Ms Simes also told advisers the pub would also have a bicycle parking area, which she said could include e-bike charging stations.

Although recommended for approval, the proposals had met with objections from a group of local residents.

Most naysayers had raised concerns that the noise could disrupt the local area.

However, planning officers said this should not be part of the decision-making process as the area is already licensed. In other words, the pub would already be allowed to use the area as its headquarters without obtaining planning permission.

The committee also heard how a management plan would be put in place to control the hours of use of the garden.

Officers also expressed their view that the development would not harm the historic fabric of the listed building and that the changes (which were described as “high quality”) would be reversible in any case.

After further discussions, the program was approved by the committee, provided that the conditions for securing the electric bicycle chargers could be put in place.

However, full planning permission will not be granted until the project has been approved by the county archaeologist.

John Smith

The author John Smith