Campaigners’ anger over decision on Hastings holiday let

The building. 'Photo by Surface2Air Media
The building. 'Photo by Surface2Air Media

A controversial holiday home will be allowed to stay, a planning inspector has ruled.

Campaigners from Save Ecclesbourne Glen (SEG) were hoping the building within Rocklands Private Caravan Park, dubbed the ‘bunker’ by objectors, would be torn down.

Chris Hurrell, spokesman for SEG, said: “Despite the massive unpopularity of the bunker with the public, the inspector has allowed the building to remain subject to a few cosmetic changes.

“The height of the roof will be reduced by 400mm and the balconies will be reduced in depth by 1,000mm. The rest of the building will be allowed to remain as is.

“This is a very disappointing result.”

SEG said the building has destroyed the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

Rocklands appealed against Hastings Borough Council’s enforcement notice to destroy the building overlooking Ecclesbourne Glen more than a year ago.

In March last year it submitted a planning application asking for the retention of the holiday let, which was refused.

In June 2014 the council unanimously threw out Rocklands’ retrospective planning application to make alterations to the controversial building. The original building itself was granted planning permission in 2012.

Mr Hurrell added: “Primary responsibility for this disaster lies with our planning department which granted permission in the first place. The application was passed by delegated officer powers without going to the planning committee. The planning department has participated in the disfigurement of this part of our country park.

“We would like to work with the council to ensure effective screening is planted and the planning approval granted by the inspector is followed to the letter. We look forward to meeting with council members to discuss how screening conditions are going to be implemented.

“Ecclesbourne Glen issues are not just about the bunker. Our objective was to protect the beautiful vistas across the country park and many issues remain unresolved.

“We are still very concerned about the landslip that has shut access from the East Hill and is a visual scar on the glen. We are pressing the council to carry out further investigations.”

A council spokesman said: “We note the inspector’s decision, and have no further comment to make.”

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