Fresh housing plans for St Leonards flood risk site

Layout of the proposed homes
Layout of the proposed homes

Controversial proposals to build housing in St Leonards are to go back before town planners later this week.

On Thursday (June 6), Hastings Borough Council’s planning committee is expected to consider an outline application to build 16 new houses on land behind Bexhill Road.

A previous application to develop the site – which had been put forward on behalf of the borough council itself – was refused by the planning committee last year due to concerns around flooding risks at the site.

But, according to council papers, this new application aims to overcome these concerns.

In a report to the committee, a council officer said: “Since the refusal of permission against officer recommendation in October 2018, the applicant has undertaken further assessment of flooding and drainage issues to overcome residents and planning committee concerns.

“Technical reports have all been updated and further evidence has been provided to demonstrate that there will be no adverse impacts to neighbouring properties or the surrounding area as a result of the proposed development.”

The report adds that the site is within a high flood risk area – mostly from the sea – but a number of measures are now included within the proposals to mitigate this.

They include proposals to raise the land and other landscaping to channel water away from the site and other residential properties.

The design of the houses has also been amended so that the ground floor of each would be above flood level.

Part of the site is currently used as car park, council papers say, although the majority of the site is unused.

While the proposals include the creation of new parking spaces, several residents have raised concerns about the loss of spaces while work takes place.

Residents have also raised concerns about creating extra traffic and congestion on to Bexhill Road and the surrounding area.

A total of 13 houses are proposed for the site, which are expected to be a mix of seven affordable homes and nine market houses.

For further details see application reference HS/OA/19/00153 on the Hastings Borough Council planning website.