Tories call for council planning review

Conservative members of Hastings Borough Council want a review of the planning department
Conservative members of Hastings Borough Council want a review of the planning department

Conservative councillors are calling for a review of Hastings council’s planning department after a series of ‘costly mistakes’.

Cllr Liam Atkins proposed a motion to discuss the issue at Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet meeting on Monday (February 1).

The Conquest councillor believes a fundamental review is needed after a number of controversial planning decisions.

“Confidence in this council’s planning department is at an all time low,” he said.

“We have seen costly planning mistakes and controversial planning applications across Hastings.

“The Rocklands issue, legal costs for the Queensway Gateway and crow-baring houses into Silverhill are a mere handful.

“On the back of these issues and more we are pushing for a fundamental review into how our local planning department works.”

The motion was seconded by fellow Tory Rob Cooke who said a review is needed to restore the public’s confidence in the system.

“The public have no confidence in our planning service, this review, if nothing else, will act as the first step into improving the credibility and transparency of the service,” he said.

Cllr Atkins said the department should work for the public, not against it.

“We must push for greater efficiencies at all times and the planning service must play its part,” he said.

“By launching a review the council will not only learn from the mistakes that have been made, but will also be improving the efficiency of the department.

“We have the second highest council tax in East Sussex, the very least hardworking tax payers deserve is a planning service that is cost effective and actually works for, not against them.”

The meeting is at 6pm on Monday at Stade Hall.

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