Residents’ fury over illegal building work

Angry residents outside the Moreton Centre
Angry residents outside the Moreton Centre

ANGRY residents in St Leonards are fuming over unauthorised building work at a daycare centre.

Last June the Moreton Centre in Boscobel Road was given the go-ahead by Hastings Borough Council to build an extension, subject to 20 stringent planning conditions, many of which had to be complied with before any work could start.

But residents in the area say builders from Icon Design Ltd have ‘flagrantly ignored’ all of the council’s terms.

Lesley Ann Dawes, of Knoll Rise, said: “Residents affected by the proposal were consulted at length, all concerns addressed and plans drawn up which would negate environmental impact, preserve existing wildlife and fauna and create a surrounding screening through careful planting to minimise the impact of such a large development.

“All the terms have been flouted. Trees have had their root systems damaged and the conditions for the actual construction (placement of retaining wall, height of structure, land height) have been flagrantly ignored. The developers appear not to care a jot. Levels of earth are practically at the level of the top of our fences.

“We live by the law, why should developers escape it, destroying the peace and quality of residents’ lives, in their wake?”

The council said numerous complaints have been received from residents and four enforcement notices served on builders since January.

Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration, said: “This is an appalling example of total disregard for planning consent and conditions applied.

“Some progress has been made now to meet some of the conditions but there are significant breaches which include raising the site levels towards the north west corner and construction of a retaining wall in the same area, neither of which has planning permission.

“An enforcement notice was served on Tuesday to remove the retaining wall and to reduce the site levels to where it should be.

“If this is not complied with we will be forced to further action and serve a ‘stop notice’ which will prevent any further development at all.

“We can’t allow developers to ignore planning conditions and think they can get away with it.”