NEARLY four years ago I arrived at St Leonards Warrior Square Station and immediately felt I was somewhere special. ‘You are now entering a Conservation Area,’ said the plaque by the station door.
Apart from one gasp of horror on seeing Ocean House I was, and have been ever since, entranced by the lovely architecture and people. Sadly over many decades it has been abused by unscrupulous developers and uncaring buy to let absentee landlords. In spite of this greedy exploitation, regeneration is beginning to occur. Each time I go out I see fresh evidence of this.
However, with the dreadful application for 1-3 Chapel Park Rd, we have arrived at the meeting of two paths - one to true regeneration and the other back on the degradation trail. It sounds dramatic, but if the planning committee sanctions this it will forever diminish the true potential for the regeneration of this vital area. I just hope planning committee members follow their civic consciences and vote according to the many intelligent and well informed letters on the case file from those who have had enough of the wanton destruction of our precious historic buildings.
How extraordinary that planners and architects can envisage the idea of reporting this application in the absence of the land stability investigation report required by Local Plan Policy DG21. In addition Network Rail has stated: “Network Rail would accept no liability for any resultant incident involving the tunnel if any proposed development was granted permission without investigation prior to consent”.
Also there appears to be no conservation report for the current application, even though the King’s Road Conservation Area has been extended since the previous outline application. Now 1-3 Chapel Park Rd is adjacent to the conservation area on three of four sides.
It is to be decided by the planning committee on November 6 - there is still time to have your say. I would strongly encourage those who love this unique place to comment on this application putting your name and address as well as the application reference HS/OA/13/00577
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com or write to Head of Housing and Planning Services, Aquila House, Breeds Place Hastings TN34 3UY.