Hastings Debenhams plan: ‘Cool’ or a ‘ridiculous idea’? - readers have their say

Residents have given their views on plans to open a games arcade on the first floor of the former Debenhams building in Hastings town centre.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:29 pm

C&O Entertainment Limited has submitted a planning application to Hastings Borough Council.

The application says the proposals would create 45 full-time equivalent jobs.

According to the application, which seeks a change of use of part of the building, the arcade would include pinball machines as well as virtual reality and dance games.

The old Debenhams in Hastings SUS-210913-114044001

While the proposed arcade would only cover a small portion of the store, architectural floor plans submitted as part of the application hint at what may be set to come for the rest of the building.

These floor plans show an indoor soft play area, cafe, children’s mini-golf area and a three-lane bowling alley.

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Hastings Debenhams - plan revealed for part of building

The proposals have had mixed reactions from residents, who commented on the Observer’s Facebook page.

Angie Warren said: “A bowling alley is a cool idea. Something like they have at the David Lloyd Centre in Eastbourne with bowling, pool, air hockey and a cafe etc would be great.”

Allan Knight said: “We need a new version of “Out of this World”. Maybe have some retro games in there too - 80s style. Especially with the big slides going through different floors. Bowling alley sounds good too. Three lanes doesn’t sound enough. Stick a Nandos, Noodle Bar, Spud U Like and a Burger King in there in a food court. Have a pop-up market in there that people will want to use all year round. A load of fruit machines isn’t the answer. Make it a place to visit and that will give people a reason to visit the town in general.”

However Trevor Jarman said: “It’s a moot point as to whether Hastings town is now so far gone as to be beyond saving as a place to shop. As people jump up and down every time a new housing development on a greenfield site is proposed (but housing is still sorely needed), developing the building for residential use might be a better option.”

Sarina Copeland said: “We could do with a new bowling alley. Haven’t had one since the one in Glyne Gap closed and that was great.”

Jane Pilon said: “About time we had a nice soft play area and bowling, fun things for the families.”

Judy Pebody said: “We need some decent shops, not more arcades.”

Diane Cook said: “A decent toy shop like Hamley’s or Smiths Toys would be better.”

Sonja Charlton said: “Ridiculous idea. We need clothes shops.”

Emma Sherlock said: “Obviously the owners had a second thought that a gym and little shop wasn’t needed. I like the idea of a cafe with soft play and bowling but we don’t need more arcades.”