Decision due on new retail units planned for Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier
Hastings Pier

Controversial proposals for log cabins on Hastings Pier are to be discussed by planners at a meeting next week.

On Wednesday (March 6), Hastings Borough Council planners are to consider an application for temporary planning permission to erect five retail units on the pier, which would remain for a period of five years.

The plans have proven controversial with a number of residents and groups, with planners receiving more than 87 letters of objection, many raising concerns about the impact on the Grade II listed building.

Planners also received seven letters of support and one neutral comment.

Speaking to the Observer last year, pier owner Sheikh Abid Gulzar said: “We have to continue to make the open deck area of the pier more appealing.

“That is why we want permission for these five temporary units to be set up on the pier.

“We are asking for permission for five years and I firmly believe that they will enhance the offering to people.”

In a report to the planning committee, a council officer said: “Concern has been raised from objectors that there is insufficient information submitted with the application to be able to determine its impact on the character and appearance of the area, and the setting of the designated heritage assets to which it relates.

“It is considered however, that there will be limited views of the structures from the west as they will be mostly blocked by the existing cafe pavilion building.  When viewed from the east, the sheds will sit below the roof level of the pavilion and not adversely affect its silhouette.

“Taking the above into account, the conservation officer has no objections to the application and commented that following the submission of amended plans  that the amount of harm that will be caused to the designated heritage assets to be minimal, and could not form a basis for refusal of permission.”

The report adds that a number of conditions will be included to ensure the method and materials do not damage the pier.

The planning officer also said the retail structures would provide additional income to go toward maintaining the structure of the pier.

However it also acknowledges the plans are partly retrospective as one of the sheds is already in place.

The application is set to be considered by Hastings planners at a meeting on March 6.

For further information see application reference HS/FA/18/00900 on the Hastings Borough Council planning website.