Scout hut to be demolished despite objections

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A LONG-STANDING Scout hut will be demolished to make way for 15 new homes, despite 35 letters of objection.

The 6th Hastings (Blacklands) Scouts had used the hall in Beverley Walk off Linley Drive since 1974.

But AmicusHorizon has been given permission to knock it down and build seven houses and eight flats on the site.

Residents gave several reasons against the development including inadequate parking, poor access, anti-social behaviour, impact on the local flora and fauna and loss of the Scout facility.

At a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday, councillors voted eight to two in favour of the bid.

Members heard how the scouts moved to Broomgrove Community Centre on Tuesday.

A lease on the land expired in 2003 and AmicusHorizon allowed an informal lease agreement to continue.

AmicusHorizon had previously told the Observer that it offered several potential temporary measures including a generous financial payment 
as well as an area of free land 
for a permanent scout hut.

But the housing association claims the scout group declined all suggestions for suitable temporary premises.

During the meeting, the committee heard an impassioned plea from ward councillor Mike Turner.

He said: “I find it most regrettable that I cannot support this application.

“The access junction will have difficult visibility.

“I have had many complaints about speeding vehicles.

“The Elphinstone Primary School headteacher has said there had been several near misses.”

Committee chairman cllr Godfrey Daniel said: “I am sad about the loss of the Scouts in that area.

“It’s always a wrench to have to leave and I wish them well for the future.”

Speaking after the meeting councillor Turner added: “This area is as important to residents as Speckled Wood.

“We want the council to monitor the excavators and diggers to make sure that they don’t disturb local wildlife.”