LETTER: Still waiting for ‘Grotbusters’

Keyboard SUS-160615-124004001
Keyboard SUS-160615-124004001

I read with interest the articles published in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer dated 12.08.16 and 07.10.16 about the Council’s ‘Grotbusting’ successes in ‘turning around derelict buildings’ and how it is part of the council’s agenda to ‘build better neighbourhoods’.

Here at Portland Terrace and its immediate environs in Hastings, we are still waiting for the council’s ‘Grotbusting’ team to enforce three ‘notices to improve’ (‘Section 215 Notices’) issued to past and present owners of St Mary’s Railway Mission Hall on Portland Steps. So far nothing has happened. The once beautiful Hall continues to deteriorate and the surrounding ground remains a draw for mattresses, trolleys, sofas, abandoned cars and general litter.

In response to repeated requests for action, we are told: ‘Grotbusting can be a very slow process – up to two years to get a result’. A somewhat galling comment to those of us who have waited 15 years for any ‘Grotbusting’ to take place in the case of St Mary’s Hall.

In February 2002 and again in 2007 my letters to this paper were published highlighting the problem and requesting that the council address the concerns of the local community about St Mary’s.

Since then local people have directed a constant stream of letters, emails, and telephone calls to the council – all to no avail.

St Mary’s Hall is now in the hands now of a local property management company who have planning permission to turn it into student accommodation.

Their promises of starting work never materialise and they will not communicate with local residents.

We feel let totally let down by the council, and puzzled at their apparent indifference.

Judy Russell

Portland Terrace

Hastings

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