College site campaigners to fight appeal

CAMPAIGNERS who successfully fought against the development of the old Hastings College site are gearing up to fight an appeal over the decision.

The Save the Archery Ground group is now planning to voice its concerns again at a public enquiry on November 6.

In June, Gladedale’s bid to build to build 150 homes on the site in St Leonards was thrown out by the planning committee, despite it being recommended by its own officer.

The scheme attracted more than 600 letters of objection and four petitions against it, among the highest numbers ever received by the council. It took more than three years to come before planners.

It was turned down for not being in sympathy with the appearance of the area, not displaying high quality distinctive architecture and being of poor design.

A planning inspector will now hear Gladedale’s appeal and decided whether or not to uphold it.

STAG spokesman Trish Evans said: “We have always recognised that development of the site is vital,

“But we will continue the fight for enhancement of the area, and for a development of high quality that is compatible with this unique, historic seaside town.

“The Burtons were enlightened builders who used the natural features of their settings – sloping hills, trees and sea views – to create garden-city designs.

“Modern architects should maintain these qualities.

“The Gladedale plan ignores the historic architecture and landscape that James Burton and his son the renowned architect, Decimus, designed.

“We object to the design, height, lack of green space, loss of trees and wildlife, poor quality of materials, and local road and infrastructure chaos of the proposed development.”

Paula Toole, spokesman for Gladedale, said: “We are disappointed that the planning committee chose to refuse the planning application against the recommendation of council officers.

“We have worked closely with the officers and other interested parties for more than five years to develop our comprehensive proposals.

“These include the removal of the unsightly former college buildings, and will provide much- needed private and affordable housing for the borough, while protecting the Grade II listed building on the site.

“We trust that the planning inspector will make a positive decision to enable development to commence without further delay.”