Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Local family group show their support for the petition (photo: Bryan Fisher).

Many new signatories for Old Bathing Pool site petition

Organising anything during the COVID-19 restrictions is difficult, but a petition signing went ahead on the Old Bathing Pool site in West St Leonards on Saturday 20 June. This was organised by Save Our Bathing Site (SOBS) and West Marina Org, both local community groups opposing Hastings Borough Council’s plan for a high-rise, high-density housing development on the site. Bryan Fisher of West Marina Org reports.

The petition was organised to demand that HBC engage positively with the local community and interest groups before signing any contract with a developer. Planned for a 10.30 start, supporters were queuing up before time to sign. In just over two hours 175 concerned locals signed the petition, despite the restrictions imposed by social distancing and having to use antibacterial gel.

Saturday’s event was to gather physical signatures alongside the e-Petition requested of HBC on 10 June (and finally made available on 22 June after being chased by SOBS and local media). Now those who wanted to sign but could not make the event can add their details to the online signatories.

Lucie Mason of SOBS said: “What an amazing turnout on Saturday. We gathered 175 signatures in one morning! Thank you all for coming down or stopping to find out more. There were lots of people still unaware of HBC’s plan, which demonstrates just how ineffective the community engagement has been in relation to this site.

“There is a paper copy being held at Sussex Fruits [31-33 Bexhill Road] and if you know any other businesses willing to hold one, or if you want a copy to take and get signed, please let me know.

“This precious site is worth fighting for and being there at this event just confirmed that. So many people were sharing great memories of time spent at the lido. This unique space can be that special place again, but not if HBC refuse to listen.”

We urge HBC, and council leader Kim Forward in particular, to contact us and arrange a public meeting with the local community. Housing on this site is overwhelmingly rejected by local residents, who are looking for vision from HBC in regenerating this unique seafront site.


The e-Petition can be signed here.

Contact West Marine Org here.

Contact Save Our Bathing Site here.


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Posted 13:19 Saturday, Jun 27, 2020 In: Campaigns


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  1. Bolshie

    While I loathe having to make another comment on the same story, I feel it necessary after read the posted views of Matthew.
    I think he needs to go and visit the site and try to envisage the intense development the council want for this site. It is not about being a “Nimby” but about sensible planning for a location such as this. And of course suitable for the community around it.
    From what I see of his comment any development must benefit the “general economy.” So from what I gather here is if the council don’t get to put their 150 units on this site anything else will be a waste of space.
    Sorry Matthew but this is a sensitive site that needs to be transformed with care and what the community would like to see.
    Not what the “markets” want.
    I think you are going to be a loner on this isssue

    Comment by Bolshie — Friday, Jul 3, 2020 @ 16:49

  2. Matthew

    I believe free markets should decide if this/any area should be housing or anything else – we can’t let nimbyism arrest growth that would profoundly benefit the general economy/ the people it would house, but compensation to the affected residends for lost house value perhaps should be part of the price that developers pay

    All in all it’s a weighing up of costs and benefits – that is best decided by the markets – putting a financial value on the site as well as damages would be a way of weighing it up

    Comment by Matthew — Thursday, Jul 2, 2020 @ 17:09

  3. Bolshie

    I hear the Councillors have decided not to communicate with SOBS which is a sad day for democracy. But pretty typical from my experience with two petitions on planning in the past where there is a difference of opinion. Once you disagree with particularly planning issues the portcullis comes down.
    Even with the support of the two Ward councillors will not be of great help being they are both Conservatives.
    But here we are with the ruling party who were voted by the people to represent the people uphold democracy and transparency doing exactly the opposite.
    SOBS are on a huge uphill task and struggle here. One possible form of action might be a Judicial Review though the problem here is the expense of doing these. Though Andrea Needham pulled one off on the Bexhill By Pass.

    Comment by Bolshie — Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 @ 13:46

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