Rich heritage of Victorian architecture in Hastings and St Leonards should be preserved


From: George Moles, Stockleigh Road, St Leonards

As one who was brought up in a traditional red brick Victorian semi, I am sympathetic towards the residents who are protesting against the proposed development on a bungalow site at the foot of Wykeham Road in central Hastings (your article, 4th October).

As Laurin Kwasieborski, one of these residents, points out, the lower, right hand side of this highly favoured residential cul de sac is a “historical Victorian gem”.

The massive Victorian houses, though few in number, are grand and imposing with tall, distinctive gateposts.

The residential character and architectural integrity of our roads and streets should be preserved if possible in spite of obvious population and housing pressures, which are hindering our efforts to lessen climate change.

Planning and conservation should not be sacrificed to short term expediency. We should do our best to hand down to posterity what is of historical or architectural value. Tasteless piecemeal development has been the ruination of countless English towns and cities.

Some Sussex seaside resorts such as Worthing and Bognor Regis have over the centuries lost most of their older buildings, including much of the sea front.

Hastings and St Leonards have a rich heritage of Victorian architecture.

We have already in place a detailed architectural appraisal of the conservation areas into which they are divided. Central Hastings is a comparatively small (by English standards), well documented area, which should be urgently ringfenced and given priority treatment.