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Rother & Hastings District Update September 2022

22nd September 2022

Hastings Borough Council’s planning activity.

Hastings issues have not featured very much in previous reports because it is basically urban up to its boundaries with Rother District. However 2022 seems to have raised important and sensitive planning matters which touch on CPRE Sussex core principles.

Hastings Borough Council Planning Committee are perhaps not the most active planning committee in Sussex as 2022 up to August has seen five of its monthly planning committee meetings cancelled, presumably because of a lack of agenda items.

However in March, the Planning Committee gave itself planning permission for 140 homes on the Harrow Lane Playing Fields, to the north of the borough.  It decided that there was no need for any additional compensatory payments resulting from the development, nor any s.106 contributions.

In June there were two linked applications for the Committee to determine.  The first was  one on the Tilekiln Playing Field, also owned by Hastings Council. It is in the north west of the borough and the application was for a replacement stadium for Hastings United Football Club, a sports hall and a MUGA (multi use games area). That was approved unanimously.

The other linked application was again on Hastings Council owned land, this time at a site known as Pilot Field, where Hastings United FC have their ground. This time though the proposal was for the building of 86 homes.  The Committee here felt some form of compensation payment was need – so they decided on a s.106 agreement to pay £22000 towards the improvement of library facilities and £9500 for a traffic survey and a travel plan.  Surely this should have been done before the Committee decided in favour of the development?

So in the space of threes months Hastings Borough Council Planning Committee has given itself permission to have 226 homes built and a football stadium and associated built facilities, thereby removing open spaces it owns. And really no compensation for the local people of different parts of Hastings for their loss of precious urban green spaces.

Stephen Hardy

September 2022