This is why 210 new St Leonards homes will cause ‘unbearable’ road conditions, according to residents

Proposals to build more than 200 new homes on the site of a former St Leonards school will lead to increased traffic and dangerous road conditions, concerned residents say.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 11:35 am

Developers have put forward plans to build 210 houses in Darwell Close, where The Grove School used to be.

The original application was granted planning permission by Hastings Borough Council three years ago but developers have since submitted an application seeking approval of proposed details relating to layout, scale, external appearance of the houses, and landscaping.

Residents in the area said increased traffic as a result of the scheme would make the road ‘unbearable’.

Eric Hardwick by the entrance to the proposed site for 210 new homes in St Leonards SUS-210721-103946001

Eric Hardwick, MBE, who is race director of Hastings Half Marathon, said: “The most important consideration, which was discussed by Hastings Borough Council (HBC) at previous meetings, was for another access/exit for the site. This should be agreed before construction work can start.

“For there to be only one access/exit is not acceptable, and the one that used to be used into Crowhurst Road should be reopened and a new junction system put in place.

“For starters construction traffic could use this access to save traffic coming along Harley Shute Road into Darwell Close.

“An example of the problem, was that recently, a car was blocking the access to the site and the air ambulance had to be called out to an injured child on the site.

“The Darwell Close road surface is already poor, and increased traffic would make it unbearable. Has anyone seen how busy this junction is in the morning and afternoon rush?”

Karl Pope said: “I have grave concerns about how the extra traffic from these 210 homes will feed into the entrance of Darwell Close from Harley Shute Road.

“This now a drop-off point and parking for parents who have children at the school located further up Harley Shute Road, as the parking area in the front of the school has been blocked off. Because of the number of cars parked it makes turning into Darwell Close from Harley Shute Road that more dangerous as you can’t see what other traffic is coming.

“With these 210 houses there will be a significant increase in traffic trying to get out of this junction at peak times.”

A design and access statement by OSP Architecture, on behalf of applicants Bellway Homes Ltd, said: “The proposed site layout will provide 210 new high quality family homes, 25 per cent of which are affordable housing, vehicular and pedestrian access from Darwell Close, the provision of a minimum 15m green

buffer between the development and ancient woodland, and landscape buffers along the remaining boundaries, and a substantial area of open space including an

informal play area.”

The latest application is set to be discussed by the council’s planning committee at a later date.