‘Man bites dog’ planning result

THE latest Observer makes a prominent feature of the council planning committee’s outright rejection of a planning application to demolish a line of ugly garages behind Barley Lane and to replace them with two houses, a commodity we are told our town needs desperately.

For your paper to make such a splash about the kind of proposal that invariably goes through ‘on the nod’ shows how astonished your planning reporter was at this refusal.

Thanks to your highlighting of this decision, that astonishment is now shared by your readers.

All the reasons stated for refusal are precisely those that individuals, groups and petition-signers have cited frequently against development plans elsewhere in Hastings.

Sewage, drainage, flooding risk, landslip, increased traffic, loss of privacy, all were instrumental in getting this plan rejected, but are regularly dismissed as irrelevant when raised as objections to other proposed developments.

All over Hastings objectors have watched as historic buildings have been destroyed and green spaces and even already over-developed areas have been ruthlessly covered in more high-density housing and blocks of flats.

All passed with only the most perfunctory consideration by the very same councillors who have now ‘slammed’ this particular proposal.

Is this now ‘applauded’ Councillor Beaver the same one who has in the past reduced desperate objectors to tears by affirming his approval of controversial applications against the unanimous wishes of local residents?

What is the magic spell cast by this line of brick ‘sheds’ with decaying wooden doors, as shown in the Observer photograph?

Is it that the planning committee is secretly carrying on the Hastings historic tradition of smuggling?

That behind these shabby doors lie stashed barrels of brandy, tobacco and lace, waiting for a moonless night when Councillors Daniel, Beaver, Hodges et alia can move them on?

Joking apart, I think we need to be told why most planning applications in this town are approved despite their total unsuitability, while this one is rejected for all the same reasons that the others are allowed.

To misquote Shakespeare: there is something rotten in the state of Hastings.

ERICA BARRETT

Pilot Field Area

Residents’ Association