Hastings council to debate major Bexhill homes plan

Bovis Homes' proposal for Roundacre, part of the new development in north east Bexhill, to be known as Worsham.
Bovis Homes' proposal for Roundacre, part of the new development in north east Bexhill, to be known as Worsham.

Hastings Borough Council members will today (Wednesday, August 26) debate an outline plan for up to 1,050 homes in Bexhill.

Members of the planning committee will discuss the application by Bovis Homes for a major development with houses, businesses and services on land north of Wrestwood Road.

Hastings is involved in the consultation because the area around the controversial link road is part of its and Rother District Council’s local plans.

Officers have recommended supporting the application which includes up to 1,050 homes, with 30 per cent affordable housing, space for businesses, a primary school, a nursery, parks and four new roads over 57 hectares at Worsham Farm.

Rother District Council’s planning committee is expected to consider the outline application before the end of October.

Even if both committees support the outline proposals, full planning permission would still need to be given at a later date.

Despite officer support, the application has attracted opposition from residents with many citing the huge increase in people being too much for Bexhill to bear.

Victoria Robertson is concerned about GP surgeries, increase in competition for secondary school places and the effect on the town character.

“This is an overbearing number of properties to be built at one time in or town, over a thousand houses at one hit,” she wrote.

“This is a scale of house building that the area hasn’t had before.”

Sharon Minter wrote: “This would over fill our secondary schools and there would not be enough spaces for all the children.

“It will also impact on the local hospitals with such a massive increase in people.”

The impact on traffic was also raised as G. Balcikonis wrote: “The areas around Pebsham Lane, along with Wrestwood Road and The Glades, have enough problems with traffic as it is now let alone with this new ‘proposed development’.”

Rother Environmental Group has also raised concerns about the impact on biodiversity.

“Since this large development is being built on previously unspoilt and beautiful countryside we urge you to keep as much green space as possible; to provide wildlife corridors and protect dormouse sites and badger setts (including limiting lighting spill onto these habitats); retain as many mature trees as possible and identify and protect present significant trees,” wrote Mrs Barbara Echlin and Dr Edward Echlin on behalf of the group.

The proposal includes up to 7,000 square metres of space for businesses such as private companies and up to 2,100 square metres for shops, services, sports facilities, restaurants and pubs.

There would be primary access from Gateway Road and secondary from Wrestwood Road plus sustainable urban drainage and car parking.

The planning committee meets from 6pm today (Wednesday, August 26) at Town Hall, Queen’s Square, Priory Meadow, Hastings.

Anyone attending is asked to enter the building via the Queens Road entrance, opposite the cinema.

A reporter from the Observer will be at tonight’s meeting and the result of the debate will be published online.

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