Last week the Labour controlled council announced it had decided to shelve plans to build houses on Bulverhythe Rec. Objections from the Environment Agency were insurmountable and Homes England pulled the plug on funding Hastings Borough Council’s attempt to develop the land.
From the beginning a great many residents who live near the site were against the plan and thought it a non-starter. The Environment Agency categorise the Rec as a Zone 3a flood zone – which means it has a high probability of flooding. Those facts, supplied by the experts from the Environment Agency, were disputed by Labour councillor Andy Batsford on several occasions. He told a local news outlet, “the water-logging that occurs is, technically not flooding”!
This entire debacle has been a scandalous exercise in obstinance and hubris by the Labour led council from the beginning. The site became the centrepiece of the council’s “500 affordable homes” ambitions. It was documented only last November in their cabinet meeting that Bulverhythe Rec would be able to yield a possible 192 affordable homes. This ambitious, much lorded target has now been blown out of the water.
With grants paid for by Homes England the council wasted staff time, paid out huge consultancy fees and spent countless council hours on a failed planning application.
The staggering consequence of all that wasted time is the council blew £1.9 million trying to get over the Environment Agency’s objection which said bluntly the development; “should not be permitted”.
We desperately need more affordable homes built locally. What a shame the council spent so much time and money on this failed project.
Help for Ukrainian Refugees
Our hearts and minds turn daily to the horrific war in the Ukraine which we see on our TV screens constantly. All nations bordering the Ukrainian border have been remarkable in their generosity and compassion, helping people fleeing from the terrible conflict. Now tens of thousands of British people have signed up to sponsor and house Ukrainian families.
I would urge anyone who can help to register their interest at https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk