A piece of land the local council says ‘had always been intended for use as protected open space’ but that had been bought by SeaSpace ‘as part of land acquisitions for development’ is going back to council ownership.
In a press release issued on Monday Hastings Borough Council (HBC) says it will be, “…accepting the transfer of protected open space land in the Ore Valley, from SeaSpace.”
Confusingly the press release first says the land had originally been purchased as part of land acquisitions ‘for development’, then goes on to say that it had ‘always been intended for use as protected open space’.
HBC will now do initial repairs and maintenance and will then look for a community trust or similar organisation who could take on the long-term management of the land: “As was intended when the land was first earmarked as protected open space.”
Councillor Peter Chowney, leader of HBC said: “This land includes two important open spaces. One has a large badger sett and deep ponds that were once used to refill steam engines. Together, they’re the largest open space in the Ore Valley. The other includes paths through woodland already maintained by volunteers, with views across the Ore Valley.
“I am very pleased that after 15 years, the long term future of this land can finally be secured, using the money we set aside right back when the land was first put forward as protected open space. I’m also keen that future ownership and management arrangements protect, as far as possible, from the land ever being sold on.”
Councillor Maya Evans, lead councillor for climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development said: “This is a wonderful space that will be preserved and enjoyed by the town, protecting the green space and the wildlife there.
“Urban wildernesses are a good way of supporting biodiversity; earlier this month the National Biodiversity Network estimated that one in seven species of plant, fungi and insects are at risk of disappearing in the UK, destruction of habitat being one of the main causes.
“HBC has preserved this area for nature to flourish, which is also an intrinsic part of tackling climate change.”