HS/FA/14/01036 | Retention of holiday let building (with reduction to balcony area to the dimensions permitted by HS/FA/12/00952) and access ramp. Relocation of solar panels to roof of holiday let building. | Rocklands Private Caravan Park, Rocklands Lane, Hastings, TN35 5DY
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE ABOVE PLANNING APPLICATION.
Here is a copy of the comments made by our Chairman Andrew Blackman on behalf of the friends:
I am writing on behalf of the committee of the Friends of Hastings Country Park to register our strong objection to this application. The original building on this site was a small, brick and tile bungalow almost entirely hidden by thick screening. Since then there has been a series of flawed and misleading planning applications, leading to the erection of the current, grossly inappropriate and unauthorised house. What is clear is that permission should never have been given for a two storey building on this sensitive site, nor should the developer have been allowed to remove any screening. Permission was mistakenly given for a very inappropriate building, but what has been built is entirely different in almost every regard, including height, width, type of balcony, location, orientation, drainage, screening, etc., etc.. This permission has now been superseded by the new unauthorised development. Hastings Borough Council has so far failed the people of Hastings and must now do the right thing and refuse this application. Through the developer’s misleading drawings and statements statutory bodies such as AONB, English Nature and English Heritage have made their comments on the entire series of applications based on deeply flawed information. Once again in the current application the information provided is incorrect, insufficient and misleading. Despite this, the High Weald AONB unit have made their firm opposition to this building clear. In planning law the impact of any development on the landscape within an AONB must be given “great weight”; on these grounds alone this application must be unequivocally refused. English Heritage acknowledge that the building as erected has already damaged the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Once again, in planning law the impact of any development on a Scheduled Ancient Monument must be given “great weight”. As this building has already damaged the ancient monument, and can only damage it more by the proposed changes, permission must be refused. This application demands both retrospective regularisation of the unlawful building, and permission for changes to the building, and for entirely new projects such as the location of solar panels on the roof - this is highly confusing and misleading both to members of the public and to statutory bodies. Despite the very apparent distress this unauthorised building has caused to the people of Hastings and far beyond, the developers have made no attempt to explore more reasonable options. Why have they not considered a replacement single-storey building, in brick and tile to blend in with buildings already on site, and with proper like-for-like replacement of the screening which they have unlawfully removed? We are certain that a reasonable and proportionate scheme of this nature would be acceptable both to local residents and to the statutory bodies, but no attempt has been made by the developers to seek a sensible resolution. As it currently stands the building is a disaster for the East Hill and Ecclesbourne Glen AONB, and for the Scheduled Ancient Monument and must be completely removed as soon as possible.