Public concern ‘remains high’ on Rocklands

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

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

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The owners of a caravan park are appealing against a council decision ordering them to tear down a controversial holiday home.

Rocklands Private Caravan Park, in Rocklands Lane, will be stating its case at the hearing in January.

In March, owners were ordered to demolish the building after being served with an enforcement notice by Hastings Borough Council (HBC).

The authority also refused permission for Rocklands’ application to include solar panels on the building’s roof and reduce the size of the balcony.

The council ruled the two-storey site overlooking Ecclesbourne Glen contravened planning regulations.

Campaigners and other objectors from Save Ecclesbourne Glen have long branded the half-built property an ‘eyesore’ and say the natural beauty of Ecclesbourne Glen has been destroyed because of development in the area.

Members held a meeting earlier this month at the White Rock Hotel.

Chris Hurrell, from the group, said: “We had a very well-attended public meeting to discuss the latest developments in the fight to save Hastings’ area of outstanding natural beauty from further desecration. Many issues remain unresolved. We maintain that unless action is taken, landslips will continue and access through the glen from the East Hill will remain closed for good. Public concern and anger remains high.”

Historic England has also written to the council recommending Rocklands’ fresh retrospective application for solar panels be turned down.

It said an offence appeared to have been committed under the Ancient Monuments And Archeological Areas Act when some of the panels were installed. The site is next to and partly overlaps the Iron Age cliff castle on the East Hill.

In March last year, the council closed access to lower Ecclesbourne Glen from the East Hill area due to landslips following weeks of rain.

Rocklands’ original building was granted planning permission in 2012 under delegated powers – by officers without the application going before the authority’s planning committee.

In June last year, there were cheers from campaigners after the council unanimously threw out Rocklands’ retrospective planning application to make alterations to the controversial building.

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