Is Bulverhtye plan a ‘done deal’? – council leaders told they are ‘disrespectful’ to local people

There is a fear the plans to build 192 new homes at Bulverhythe is already a ‘done deal’.

On Wednesday Bexhill Road became a sea of yellow and red signs and posters opposing Hasting Borough Council’s (HBC) plans to build houses on the recreation ground – plans that were only submitted for approval three weeks ago – then at a full council meeting on Wednesday night Councillor Leader Kim Forward told councillors that in the coming year HBC was ‘committed’ to provide the 192 new homes at Bulverhythe.

Councillor Matthew Beaver, who represents the area where the development is planned said he felt the council was behaving in a ‘direspectful’ way towards local people and added: “The inference is that the Bulverhythe Rec site is a done deal.”

This week Councillor Beaver, along with Councillor Karl Beaney who also represents the area, drew their battle lines in what is set to be a hard fought local campaign of opposition to the council’s proposals.

Mr Beaver says: “Despite there being near unanimous opposition by the residents of Bexhill Road, the Labour run administration at HBC has put in the planning application for 192 homes on Bulverhythe Rec.

“Even though there are still some fundamental and important questions still not answered, even though there are statements being put forward with, as yet, no proof to back them up, even though a major green space will be concreted over, the plans have gone in.”

Initially the site at Bulverhythe was only ever thought of as a possible location for housing when discussions were taking place about the proposed Sports Village. As a consequence of that development, housing would have needed to be built there to help fund it. The site had not previously been considered for housing due to the potential flooding issues in the area.

Mr Beaver says: Let’s not beat around the bush about this site, it is a flood plain and over the past few months has flooded a number of times according to local residents – who have the proof to show this was the case.

The controversial site earmarked for 192 new houses – even past reports by Hastings Borough Councils have labelled it a flood plain.

“This is only going ahead due to a £7 million grant ‘to remove barriers to develop the site’ but this money could have been much better spent on sites that already have planning permission, are not on a flood plain and have lain dormant for many years.”

Councillor Andy Batsford HBC’s lead member for housing says the application submitted follows, “extensive consultation with local residents and wider stakeholders”. He also stresses the desperate need for new housing across the town with almost 1,700 people on the waiting list for a home.

Councillor Beaney says: “The question residents are asking is what was the point of the consultation if this labour run administration is simply not going to listen to them – by submitting the application it has proven it does not want to listen.

How the new development could look – Image by Metropolitan Workshop

“This is not about whether the homes are built using modern methods of construction, this is not about minimising the carbon footprint as the lead member would like us to believe, this is simply about residents not wanting the homes built there in the first place.

“What is even more disappointing for residents is that at a time when the current local plan is out for consultation, this application has been submitted despite the overwhelming opposition to it.

“While we all know we need more housing, the Labour run administration should be concentrating more on bringing forward sites that already have planning permission and stop trying to build over every green space it can find.”

Mr Beaver concludes: “It is now time for residents not only to be listened to but also to be heard.”

A petition has been set up at https://www.change.org/p/hastings-borough-council-stop-190-homes-at-bulverhythe-in-combe-valley-countryside-park?recruiter=980641851&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&recruited_by_id=d6d0bba0-9cdd-11e9-8b35-7d75bdd06738

Should this proposed development go ahead? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

10 thoughts on “Is Bulverhtye plan a ‘done deal’? – council leaders told they are ‘disrespectful’ to local people

  1. No doubt there are pro and cons to this proposal, but was is disturbing is the lack of engagement with local people. For a small Borough this council has a very poor record and too often is seen as high handed.

  2. It is as though they have blinkers on and won’t look aside from what they, for whatever reason, intend to do. Not the correct thing for people who are serving the county to do at all.

  3. According to Councillor Batsford local residents say it doesnt flood it’s just rainwater and that local people support it.He also seems to think it will not cause any extra traffic and needs no further infrastructure.

  4. The fields do flood. This is the most stupid idea ever. All the places to build and they pick a flooded field. The traffic will be astronomical. Stupidity is the only word I can think of. Do not buy these houses unless you have a boat.

    1. I have come to the conclusion that Batsford is either deaf or stupid – I think probably both. I used to live in Bulverhythe Road and many children used the rec. I’m sure they still do. The fields beyond are landfill sites. HBC HAS TO GO before they totally ruin this town. They never engage with locals. I’ve been to protests regarding the Old Bathing Pool site where Batsford talks and talks. If you can get a word in he doesn’t listen. THEYVE GOT TO GO. There are plenty of places to build that don’t concrete over precious green spaces.

  5. I have come to the conclusion that Batsford is either deaf or stupid – I think probably both. I used to live in Bulverhythe Road and many children used the rec. I’m sure they still do. The fields beyond are landfill sites. HBC HAS TO GO before they totally ruin this town. They never engage with locals. I’ve been to protests regarding the Old Bathing Pool site where Batsford talks and talks. If you can get a word in he doesn’t listen. THEYVE GOT TO GO. There are plenty of places to build that don’t concrete over precious green spaces.

  6. You are quite right Liz Bourn about HBC, though it is the Labour councillors who are fixated on concreting this site. They are the ones that need to go. While the two Conservative councillors are opposing this inane idea of developing this site, they have really no chance of stopping it as a minority here.
    As for Cllr Batsford’s remark about it just being rainwater and does not flood verifies how ridiculous this remark is to those of us who know how bad this area floods. Even into some of the back gardens along this area of land.
    The only way to resolve this situation is surely at the ballot box in the May local elections ???

  7. The development flies in the face of the much vaunted “carbon neutral policy” promoted by HBC. The development fails to conform to the highest environmental / energy saving standards. This is a lost opportunity to use the project as a showcase project. There is no attempt to install renewable energy resources such as solar panels or solar heating. How the buildings will be heated has not been covered – will they make use of heat exchange pumps? The complete failure to incorporate ecological principles in the design is illustrated by the fact that there will only be 2 electrical charging points on site for 4 electric vehicles. The parking capacity of the site is around 320 vehicles.

  8. The Batsford line that local residents say it doesn’t flood it’s just rainwater and local people support it is about as convincing as Monty Python’s Norwegian Blue being asleep.

  9. So we have the busy A259 in front and a proposed 192 houses behind with a potential 300+ cars + delivery drivers, service vehicles etc etc. Air pollution, noise pollution What happened to the right to breathe clean air? I suppose our masks will come in handy to wear in our back gardens!

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