Decision means town history is safe

IT is refreshing to read in the Observer that the council has at last accepted the proposal for a local historic buildings list.

It could go some way to prevent the unnecessary demolition of historic and cherished local structures and buildings often in the name of regeneration.

It may help the planning board to understand the desire of local residents for buildings of quality with a history and social relevance to be cared for and incorporated into new schemes rather than being demolished.

Importantly it may help Hastings Borough Council planners to value the historic buildings we have and to review their perception of good regeneration and where suitable adopt a conservation- led regeneration strategy that incorporates the best of the past into proposed new developments.

Too many buildings proposed and being proposed by Sea Space are more suitable for Milton Keynes than a Sussex seaside town and an appreciated townscape is allowed to disappear to be replaced by over tall structures with messy roof lines.

Bearing in mind that it is elected members who run the town the local list should help them represent the desires of the community rather than the bottom line of some out of town developer with a wrecking ball.

Recent years have seen the loss of the Maxwell Fry-style Hastings Station and the sandstone and brick wood warehouse in Station Yard as well as a permission granted for the demolition of the Observer building.

The planning board should be congratulated to have had the wisdom to retain the Henry Ward designed Buchanan Hospital building and allowing it to be incorporated into a housing development against the recommendation of the Hastings planners who were enthusiastic to knock it down.

If this is a genuine desire of the council to preserve and protect the best of Hastings’s architectural historic heritage we may see buildings that are not protected by listing or conservation area status actually surviving as they have in other towns to be given a new lease of life with refurbishment and incorporation into new developments to the benefit of the environment and local residents.


Lower Park Road