Next eight weeks seal the future of our town

WITHIN the next eight weeks the future of our lovely Victorian town will be decided.

Do we, the townsfolk (together with the planning department and councillors) acquiesce to the ambitious demands of developers – thus allowing high density and unsustainable housing to be built on two precious sites in the midst of our town?

Coming soon are vital decisions on:

1. Whether to allow 155 dwellings to be built in the heart of the conservation area of Burtons’ St. Leonards on the Archery Ground.

2. Also whether to grant permission for the erection of 197 dwellings at the convent site at Magdalen Road.

3. Then there’s the development plans for Hastings and St Leonards in the next 16 years - the Local Development Framework Plan has been exhibited and you can still have your say up to April 27 this year. When agreed, the new Local Plan (which goes up to 2028) will be the blueprint for the town’s planners to follow when granting permission for development. Government says that we – as residents – should give ideas and objections before council/Government approval of the plan.

For most of us, planning issues are not something we get passionately involved in or try too hard to understand – until, that is, it becomes personal.

But everyone knows (too late) when a ghastly planning permission has been given. Suddenly an ugly, inappropriate and overbearing building impinges on your daily life, ruins the ambience of the town and puts another nail in the coffin of sensitive regeneration. And it happens all the time, leaving many of us distraught.

As we know, we have (still) some wonderful architecture in our town and now is the time to put apathy away, put your opinions forward and let your councillors and the planning department know that you care what happens to Hastings and St Leonards.

Should anyone reading this epistle care enough to want to do something about it, I would be delighted to put you in touch with people that can give more details and advice. My telephone is 01424 460797 email omniwatch24@hotmaul.co.uk.

LEON TUPPEN

Albany Road

St Leonards