Residents come out in force in protest picnic to express anger against development in glen

SCORES of residents held a protest picnic on the East Hill on Sunday (June 15) to demonstrate against development at Rocklands Caravan Park.

More than 200 people attended the event and held up banners.

Maggie Alderson, of Tackleway, was one of the organisers.

She said: “We had a wonderful mixture of Hastings people from all age groups. It was a happy event but at the same time people were very angry over the entirely avoidable desecration of Ecclesbourne Glen.

“Hundreds of people attended the picnic. When I arrived there at about noon to set up I noticed a group of about seven smartly dressed people clearly very distressed as they stood at the brow of the hill, looking at the newly built house and the council notice telling them Ecclesbourne Glen is closed.

“I went over to ask if I could help and they told me they had come to scatter their father’s ashes in the glen. It was really awful to see them having to come to terms with the idea that they couldn’t fulfil their late father’s wishes. After a few minutes they turned and went back the way they had come, their father’s ashes unscattered.

“Seeing this desperately sad scene unfold just before people started arriving for the protest, really brought home to me the reason the people of Hastings are so angry about what has been allowed to happen to this glorious bit of landscape within walking distance of the town centre. Ecclesbourne Glen and the views from the East Hill mean much more to the people of Hastings than a bit of a park. It’s part of our collective DNA.”

Objectors are unhappy at Rocklands’ owners applying for retrospective planning permission on alterations to an existing building which was given planning permission by the council in 2012.