Have there been any good new buildings?

THE Prince Charles principle?

Your correspondent (Observer letters, January 21) is setting up a diversionary Aunt Sally on objectors to some architectural trends in modern Hastings (There’s so much to object to).

The improvers he champions, keen on ‘town centre face-lifts’, really don’t have much to show for their efforts.

The townspeople I know are not opposed to stylishness in new development.

But where in Hastings and St Leonards is it to be found? Not in Lower Bohemia or the Archery Ground, for instance, or on the seafront or The Ridge.

Have there been any good new buildings here since 1945? It certainly isn’t a long list, compared with what we have lost and are still losing.

For years the council’s planners, in collaboration with the developers and the planning committee, have tended to allow the cramming in of as many blocks of flats as can be got away with (including on the sites of former gardens).

This has done great harm to the town’s sense of place, and genuine distinctiveness.

Hastings and St Leonards has far too many empty flats and we don’t need any more - unless, just possibly, they’re genuinely stylish.

Much more likely is the continued vandalising of conservation areas (Can’t the planning committee take a hint?).

Pinched rooms in sprawling ugly developments, as proposed for the convent at an abusive density of 66 dwellings per hectare, are not benefiting this borough, just the developers.

If the new planning forum increases awareness of the merits of Hastings and St Leonards, then it will serve a purpose, though the problems are deep-seated, in part because not all development is worth having.

BERNARD MCGINLEY

Magdalen Road

St Leonards