This is how much the cost to build a new Hastings restaurant has increased - and why

Council leaders are set to discuss increasing the budget of a project for a restaurant building in place of the former public toilets in Hastings town centre. 

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 4:18 pm

On Monday (October 4), Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet is set to discuss whether to increase the budget to redevelop the now demolished public toilets in Harold Place from £1.2m to £1.7m. 

The project (which was first approved by cabinet in December 2019) will see a purpose-built restaurant constructed on the site, which the council intends to lease out to as-yet unnamed operator. 

At the time, cabinet also had the option to sell the site to a developer, which had said it intended to bring forward a similar scheme, but opted to redevelop the site itself. Other options included landscaping or mothballing the site with the hope of securing more funding in future.  

The former toilet building in Harold Place where the new restaurant is set to be built

While first approved in 2019, the project was put on hold by the potential operator until October last year. 

Following this delay, the council says the cost of construction has increased from its initial estimate. The council says this is due inflation within the construction industry and the general impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but also because it now has a clearer and more detailed design. 

In a report to cabinet, a council officer said: “While the costs have increased since this was last considered at cabinet in 2019 it is concluded that determining a revised budget would produce a quality building and enable us to contract with the proposed operator.

“As previously reported this property development would fit well with the regeneration and economic development aspirations for the town and generate additional employment opportunities. 

“There will be costs incurred in the first year of operation, as a rent-free period and assistance with fitout costs are incurred. 

“These proposals would however save the council from significant additional expenditure and additional landscaping work from implementing an alternative solution and does produce an additional income stream in respect of business rates.”

A final decision on the funding would require consent in a full council vote, while the wider project will also require planning permission