Hastings United Football Club and the trustees of Horntye Park Sports Complex have released updated images of the proposed Combe Valley Sports Village Complex to be developed with their partners.
Since first releasing details about the proposed move to the Combe Valley site last November, there has been considerable dialogue with the proposed site owner Hastings Borough Council and the planning authority Rother District Council.
Funding for the scheme has now been secured and Keepmoat Homes, a leading UK home builder, is taking a stake to deliver the associated housing schemes as part of this important regeneration project.
Daren Burney, a director of Burney Group, the principal developer, said: “The response to date from both Hastings and Rother has been encouraging. The next step is for pre-application planning discussions to take place followed by pre-application submissions.
“The new fully sustainable sports hub will provide a wide range of sports facilities for the area, not least a brand new state-of-the-art stadium for Hastings United FC, together with two cricket pitches for Hastings & St Leonards Priory Cricket Club and a much-needed sand-dressed hockey pitch for South Saxons Hockey Club.
“The project is certainly gaining momentum and we would hope to be able to submit the planning application in early 2018 and deliver these first class facilities for the start of the 2019/20 football and hockey season.”
The new football stadium would have facilities including a 3G pitch and conference and banqueting rooms, which would will enable the football club to generate non-matchday revenue to reinvest into the Hastings United Football Academy, as well as in the first team. This would give the club the support it needs to hopefully climb through the non-league football pyramid.
The scheme would also give much-needed financial security to the Horntye Park Trust (officially called The Hastings and St Leonards Central Cricket and Recreation Ground Trust) by providing new revenue streams and some much-improved and needed sporting facilities.
In addition to the cricket and hockey pitches, there would be a four-court sports hall, a gym for sports, fitness and healthy living activities and a dance studio, together with meeting rooms and full catering facilities. The outside facilities would also include a 3G pitch, a county size boules (petanque) court and a netball court.
The scheme would bring £70m of new investment into Hastings and St Leonards, made up of £58m for much-needed new homes and £12m for brand new sports facilities.
The project is the largest sports-related scheme the borough of Hastings will have ever seen or is likely to see.
It is intended to produce increased participation in sport via improved facilities for all, which will result in healthy living outcomes and savings to the NHS in the order of £28m.
A substantial amount of new homes will be developed and there will be economic, social and community benefits arising, plus inward investment and vitality at no cost to Hastings Borough Council or the public purse.
Those behind the project believe there would be plenty of community gains arising from the sports village these include, easier travel access, increased cross fertilisation of sports, community access to sport from a wider catchment area, and more benefits for disabled and disadvantaged groups. There will also be no adverse impacts, given the increase in facilities over and above those which exist.
The sports village project, in addition to the sports facilities, would also be expected to produce the following measurable benefits: £70m investment in the Hastings area, residential developments to assist with housing needs, construction jobs over the period of implementation, sports village operational jobs, leisure and wellbeing benefits, health benefits from increased leisure activity, fiscal benefits to Hastings Borough Council and implementation of flood mitigation measures at Combe Valley.
The partners plan to formally present the latest plans to Rother District Council and Hastings Borough Council in the very near future, as well as holding public consultations later in the year. This allows the public’s engagement before submission of the planning application at the start of 2018.
More information and comment can be viewed on the Hastings United Football Club and Horntye Park websites.