I WAS also at the planning meeting which agreed to replace Queensbury House and buildings in Priory Street and Havelock Road with a modern development including offices and commercial premises to provide 500 new jobs referred to in two letters (one from Dorking) in last week’s paper but, from their comments, I wonder whether it was the same meeting.
Cllr Daniel did rebuke the petitioner but not for his objection to the development.
The rebuke was for the appalling conduct of the petitioner and other objectors in jeering and heckling anybody who spoke in favour of the development. The attempted intimidation failed as the application was successful.
The council was accused of failing to consult but it sent out more than 500 letters informing local residents of the application in addition to advertising it in the Observer and on the website. Not one local resident objected.
There were two petitions of objection totalling 24 signatures – none from the immediate area of the development.
Your correspondent (from Dorking) sees this as evidence of an ‘enormous rift…between the council and local residents’. Don’t let the facts get in the way of an opinion.
The council is also criticised for not engaging in a full pre-application process after the application had been received.
At the meeting it was even suggested that the council should have delayed the official receipt of the application to allow such a process to take place.
Nobody can claim that Queensbury House is an asset to the town and, apart from one Havelock Road building, none of those involved has any merit at all: just take a look without the blinkers.
In my opinion, the new development will fit in well with the wonderful buildings in Station Plaza.
There does seem to be a rift in this town but it’s not the one your correspondent sees all the way from Dorking.
It is between those who want to see a thriving, regenerated Hastings with the ambition to create jobs and embrace the modern age and a small vocal clique who object to every attempt to regenerate the town and rid us of dilapidated eyesores.
After all, Saga would not have come here if there hadn’t been a suitable modern building ready for it.