Disused council offices will become apartments

FORMER council offices in town look set to be converted into new apartments.

Developers have been the go-ahead to refurbish the Grade II listed buildings at 36 and 37 Wellington Square and turn them into 12 flats. The proposals were discussed at the council’s planning committee meeting recently.

Aubrey Ingleton, a member of Hastings Heritage and Planning Watchdog, branded the proposals as an “overdevelopment”.

He said: “The buildings were once two Regency family homes and the proposal is for 12 flats.

“No lifts are provided and the building is not compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act. That means the disabled, the elderly and mothers with children will not be able to move there because of the seven flights of stairs.”

He also said the building had inadequate means of escape in the event of a fire.

James Fielding, representing the developers, said: “This application is a result of more than a year’s efforts by the developing team and extensive research into the history of the building and the square.

“Our proposals include the restoration of lost features such as sash windows and panel doors.”

Wellington Square forms part of a late-Georgian town squareand all of its buildings are listed because of their historic and architectural importance.

A report by planning officers said some buildings in Wellington Square had lost some of their original character and the proposed development would restore some of that.

Councillor Peter Pragnell welcomed the proposals.

He said: “The buildings have effectively been abused for the last 30 to 40 years and this development will bring the area back to a decent standard.”