No one in charge at Hastings Borough Council (HBC) is having second thoughts about pressing on with two controversial housing developments.
At last night’s meeting of the full council questions were raised about both the plans for development of housing at Bulverhythe and for the redevelopment of the old bathing pool site at West St Leonards.
Councillor Karl Beaney quizzed the council’s deputy leader Colin Fitzgerald about the Bulverhythe recreation ground plans on which the council has already spent almost £1m in consultants and other fees – asking if the council would suspend its plans for construction of 192 new homes on the site, especially as the Labour Party at a national level has called for an end to building new homes on flood plains.
Mr Fitzgerald told him: “I will make a commitment that we will do what we have to do to ensure that anything we build conforms to planning regulations and to Homes England guidelines. We expect to have a set of very good houses down there.”
Meanwhile Councillor Andy Patmore asked former council leader Peter Chowney about the latest news on any lease being signed with potential developers of the old bathing pool site.
It’s now more than two years since HBC identified County Gate/Sunley as its preferred developer for the site with a scheme for five, five storey blocks of flats earmarked for the site and more than a year since councillors were told that the signing of a lease with the developers was just ‘a fortnight’ away.
Mr Patmore said that he had twice been told by Mr Chowney that the council was within weeks of signing a lease with developers but now, more than a year on from that progress appeared to have stalled.
Mr Chowney explained that on each when he had been asked about progress he was told by council officials that the lease was ready to sign: “But it is by its very nature a complicated lease and there always seems to be good reason why it should be delayed.”
Mr Chowney apologised for misleading the council but stressed he had been giving out information that HBC’s officials had given to him. He told councillors that he has once again be assured that lease is ready and it was his understanding that a meeting was to be held within days for the document to be considered in detail by himself and council leader Kim Forward.