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The disputed footpath looking towards the sea - not part of the amusement park to the left, according to the council.

The disputed footpath looking towards the sea – not part of the amusement park to the left, according to the council.

Council refuses Old Town footpath bid

Hastings Borough council has turned down the Flamingo amusement park owner’s second attempt to take control of a disputed footpath on the Stade. Local residents and politicians welcomed the news. Nick Terdre reports.

As in the previous application, it was the council’s legal department which came up with the decisive judgement, ruling that the footpath could not be considered part of the amusement park as it is not part of the park enclosure.

The decision was welcomed by Anne Scott, chair of the Old Hastings Preservation Society, and by councillors for the Old Hastings ward and other concerned parties.

“Cllr Bacon and myself are very pleased with this outcome,” Cllr Dany Louise told HOT. “We had every confidence in our excellent planning department that due process would be followed. The result keeps right of way open for residents and visitors alike, and will be welcomed by everyone concerned that this should be the case.”

The news was also well received by the Greens, who mounted a petition opposing the original application. “Hastings Green Party welcomes the decision of the planning department to refuse the certificate of lawful development for the amusement park,” said Andrea Needham, who contested the ward in the local elections earlier this year along with Julia Hilton.

“The path across the site has been used by local people for decades, and the park operator should not be allowed to do anything which stops the public from using it. We hope that the Foreshore Trust will take steps to designate this path as a public right of way, thereby removing any further threat to it.”

The Foreshore Trust is the owner of the land on which the amusement park, footpath and boating lake are sited.

In its report the legal department says that the application, HS/EX/18/00485, is a resubmission of the previous application for a certificate of lawful development, the difference being that whereas previously the applicant argued that the amusement park, footpath and boating lake formed one entity for planning purposes, this time they claimed that the footpath was part of the amusement park.

But by law it is a defining characteristic of an amusement park that it forms an enclosed area, and the council was of the view that the footpath could not be considered part of the amusement park enclosure, or otherwise enclosed.

The implication seems to be that had entertainments or rides been sited on the west side of the footpath, the path might have been considered part of the amusement park enclosure.

The council offered the applicant “advice on how to amend the scheme/reduce the size of the site to overcome the Council’s reasons for refusal,” the report says, but the applicant opted not to do so. They still have the right of appeal, however.

Meanwhile a full application to make changes to the amusement park buildings and rides, including building a new boathouse and children’s themed play area, as well as a “new formalised and landscaped pedestrian footpath,” is still pending.

 

Posted 18:26 Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 In: Home Ground

2 Comments


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  1. Ms.Doubtfire

    I wish we all had the confidence in our planning department expressed by Cllrs. Bacon and Louise.
    Only time will tell if the full force of planning legislation will be applied to the lessees of this amusement park.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 @ 08:45

  2. Chris Hurrell

    Good news – the footpath has been saved for the time being. The footpath remains vulnerable to an appeal or further applications.
    The only way to guarantee it for good is for the Foreshore Trust to take action and guarantee its existence by changing the terms of the lease.

    I see that Cllr Dany Louise uses this as an opportunity to praise our Planning Department. “We had every confidence in our excellent planning department that due process would be followed. ”

    I wish I could share her confidence in the excellence of pur Planning Department. However my confidence is low due to its track record and ongoing performance. Fundamental procedural errors are a hallmark of our Planning Department.

    I wonder if Cllr Louise has been for a walk over the East Hill lately and seen the consequences of “our excellent planning departments” decision at Rocklands?

    Our Planners would not know due process if it hit them on the head.The Planning Department remains unreformed and as incompetent as ever and nothing will change whilst elected representatives continue to give uncritical support and spin on its behalf.

    Comment by Chris Hurrell — Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 @ 06:48

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