I AM staggered to read about the continuing waste of huge amounts money in Hastings, on worthless projects initiated a long time ago.
Re: the Observer, June 15, page eight: ‘Hopes for future of recession-hit park,’ £4.6m from the Government was spent on Enviro21 Innovation Park. The recession is blamed for the failure. Units are the wrong size. A conference and banqueting centre stands idle. How sad is this? Who okayed it? Does it matter?
Page 14: ‘Purchase boost for next phase of Priory Quarter development’. £7m from Government is allocated to this. Councillors Birch and Chowney say 800 jobs have been created at this site. It’s not true. Dyer & Hobbs and Stiles Harold Williams have failed to sell the space for the past five years. With almost every sector of the economy doing more poorly than expected and Britain slumping into a third successive quarter of no growth, there’s little prospect this will change in the next five years. Adding another 25,000 sq ft of offices will make matters worse and increase the burden of maintaining the properties. The scheme got knocked-back by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund last year when presented by Sea Space. Now, players calling themselves East Sussex Energy Infrastructure and Development Ltd have won the debt from the Growing Places Fund. Somehow, wisdom is hard to find. They’re going on with what they know and can’t go back, but they have a chance to change their minds.
Page 14: ‘Link Road judicial review sought’. Thank heavens for Nick Bingham and his friends at Hastings Alliance for carrying on the fight against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road. I thought Amber Rudd’s Whitehall people were cutting down on dodgy highway schemes just in time to end this link road fiasco, but then she said ‘The Link Road will facilitate land at NE Bexhill for a half million sq ft Business Park which will create 2,000 jobs’. What a ridiculous notion.
Enviro21 Innovation Park has created no jobs. There is no demand for such space. The county council should keep the £22.5m further committed to the link road and tell the Department for Transport to save the £56m funding it‘s been considering. Road builders continue to plea ‘strong economic benefits’ but this is a flimsy argument these days; traffic volume and congestion are in decline and will remain so.
I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.