Park owners ordered to tear down building

The Rocklands holiday home which has been refused planning permission by Hastings Borough Council.  Photo by Surface2Air Media
The Rocklands holiday home which has been refused planning permission by Hastings Borough Council. Photo by Surface2Air Media

The owners of a holiday park have been ordered to tear down a controversial building.

Rocklands Private Caravan Park, in Rocklands Lane, was served with an enforcement notice by Hastings Borough Council (HBC) on Friday (March 13).

The notice takes effect on Monday, April 13 and the owners have to demolish the building on the park’s site within three months from that date.

But Rocklands has a right to appeal against the council’s decision before the enforcement notice comes into force.

Earlier this month councillors and campaigners renewed their calls for the building to be knocked down after it was refused planning permission by HBC on March 4 by the authority’s planning committee.

The application included solar panels on the roof and a proposed reduction in the size of the balcony.

Campaigners from Save Ecclesbourne Glen and other objectors have long blasted the half-built property as an eyesore and a blight on the area around Ecclesbourne Glen.

Hundreds of people wrote to the council, voicing their objections to Rocklands’ application.

Last June there were shouts of joy and cheers from campaigners of Save Ecclesbourne Glen after the council unanimously threw out Rocklands’ retrospective planning application to make alterations to the controversial building. In that application, Rocklands wanted to make changes to the building’s ground floor, add additional windows and altered window positions, as well as extend the balcony.

In July last year Rocklands’ owners were ordered to stop construction work on the property. The original building itself was granted planning permission in 2012.

Tracy Hobden, spokeswoman for Hastings Borough Council, said: “The planning committee made their feelings about this development quite clear when they met. Every member of the committee voted to support our officer’s recommendation to refuse planning permission for the holiday home, which has already been partially built.

“We have therefore now issued an enforcement notice against the owners of Rocklands, effectively requiring them to remove the building as it currently stands.

“Hastings Country Park is a beautiful part of our town, much loved by residents and visitors alike, and we simply will not tolerate unauthorised developments within it.”