There is a bigger view to take from the Hastings Direct building in Bexhill

From: Dave Walsh, Rotherfield Avenue, Bexhill on Sea

Friday, 1st October 2021, 9:22 am
Hastings Direct site in Bexhill. SUS-210921-110430001

Bexhill Chamber of Commerce made the front page last week (24/9/21] with it’s “bolder vision” for the Hastings Direct site in Bexhill.

Taking a broader view myself, I’d point out a triangulation between the Conquest Building, the seafront Colonnade and the existing Peoples Palace of 1935.

Jeremy Field [letters 24/9] further emphasised Councillor Byrne’s accurate history of the Rother wasteful Colonnade Restaurant fiasco but there was also a much earlier plan to create a link down from the Pavilion into the parabolic sea front building, literally joined up thinking!

A lot of people knew that there was an ongoing leak down there.

An excavated walkway [extending the DLWP facility itself down to the Promenade] would have found and sealed it, while serving as a reminder to install gas! Restoration of the earlier bandstand [on the beach in front of the Colonnade] the disputed original glass walling around the DLWP to the south, to reduce drafts and a bright red pontoon for swimming activities [as originally envisaged] would get us somewhere near Earl De La War’s original concept of a stationary cruise ship for the masses.

As there was a huge hotel to the west until the Second World War, there’s room for further development, although perhaps limited in scale and height to that of the Pavilion, thus preserving the view out to Eastbourne.

All this would need to go hand in hand with better opening hours and taking back at least some of the control, on behalf of the frequently mentioned “people” [ie those living in Bexhill for whom it was intended].

The Chamber of Commerce may be well-intentioned with their proposal but I looked around that end of Collington twenty years ago and it’s overall layout is somewhat cramped with existing difficult access.

I don’t think Conquest House is so bad looking at all (it’s of its time after all).

Decent sized flats with open views could be very acceptable, if not quite so profitable!

However, the alternative wholesale destruction and clearance of the area would be contrary to eco-friendly ambitions/statutory guidance and a nightmare for residents.

Describing it as a “brownfield site” is somewhat disingenuous at the very least. Let’s not confuse things with two “palaces” but upgrade the existing one in it’s natural, open, location!

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