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Cussens day centre to be demolished
CONTROVERSIAL plans to bulldoze a former day care centre and replace it with housing have been approved – despite 36 objections to the scheme.
Councillors supported an outline application to flatten the centre and build three bungalows on the site.
Members of the planning committee heard that the scheme had sparked more than 30 letters of objection from residents worried about the potential impact on the sewage system and the prospect of extra traffic.
Campaigners were represented at the meeting by Peter Neale, of Fairview Drive. He said the Cussens centre had always been “part and parcel” of the Langdown Lawn public open space and should remain so. The surrounding fence had been installed only to protect the building from vandals.
But Andy Groom, representing the council, said the scheme would bring the site back into use. He also stressed that the bungalows would result in less traffic than the previous use of the land.
Council officers urged the committee to approve the application, which had the support of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council.
A report to councillors said the users of the building had moved to the new Horrill Day Centre in Challenger Way, Dibden, which meant the scheme would not result in the loss of a community facility.
The report also said the proposal would have an “acceptable impact” on surrounding homes.
It added: “There should be no reason why the development should have an impact on the local sewerage system that would justify the refusal of planning permission.”
After the meeting Mr Neale predicted that the Cussens complex would be sold to a developer.
He vowed that people living nearby would lodge another objection once the new owners submitted detailed plans for the site.
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