Menu
Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Results for the tag: Bunker

The Bunker from the west in May.

Rocklands’ new planting scheme draws criticism

Another planting scheme has been submitted by the Rocklands Caravan Park owners to shield the prominent holiday-let home from outside view, but critics maintain it still falls far short of what is required. Permission is also being sought to re-install solar panels. Nick Terdre reports.

The bunker as viewed from the west in November 2016.

Planting scheme moves closer to approval

Hopes that the Rocklands holiday-let building – the so-called Bunker – would be properly screened from view appear to be fading, following acceptance by the council’s tree officer of the revised planting scheme. In the view of the Save Ecclesbourne Glen group, this is, or was, probably the last chance to shield visitors to the Country Park from views of the much disliked building. Nick Terdre reports.

The Rocklands' Bunker - bone of contention in the Country Park but unlikely to be screened anytime soon.

Ombudsman upholds Rocklands complaint

The local government ombudsman has upheld a complaint about Hastings Borough Council’s handling of developments in the Rocklands caravan park, but acknowledges that the council has taken action to improve its procedures. Meanwhile the Save Ecclesbourne Glen group has again resorted to the Information Commissioner to get a proper Rocklands’ site plan from the council. Nick Terdre reports.

Extension of the landslip which started within Rocklands caravan park towards the sea, causing the long-term closure of a footpath which  crosses it.

HBC ordered to disclose Rocklands document

When Save Ecclesbourne Glen (SEG) group requested documents which they believe will throw light on the causes of the landslip at Rocklands Caravan Park in the Country Park, Hastings Borough Council refused to release some of them. However, SEG’s complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been upheld and the council has now supplied the withheld documents. Nick Terdre reports.

Some of the holly sticks planted in 2004 to screen the Bunker from public view (photo: Chris Hurrell).

Bunker screening fails to hide the eyesore

Following their successful Bunker appeal, Rocklands have now submitted a planting scheme to screen the building from public view, a condition imposed by the planning inspector who heard the appeal. Approval or rejection of the proposed scheme will be decided by HBC planning officers who however have declined to take any comments from the public. Chris Hurrell of Save Ecclesbourne Glen (SEG) assesses the scheme.

the Bunker: from no-no to go-go, courtesy of HBC's planners.

The Bunker: planning chief provides handy advice on how to turn refusal into approval

Many questions remain as to how the notorious ‘Bunker’ in Rocklands caravan park was fast-tracked from refusal to planning consent. Digging in the files, St Leonards exile, Richard Heritage, uncovers a revealing memo of a meeting between Hastings Borough Council’s then development manager and the owners of the caravan park – and finds that the two applications for the same proposal were assessed completely differently.

Some of the fiercest criticisms of council actions relate to the Country Park, where the risk of a landslip exists.

Council moves to sideline critics

Lodging a complaint with your local authority when you feel they have acted wrongfully or inappropriately is surely a democratic right. And one which has been exercised by local residents in response to a series of Council mishandlings, most notably the Rocklands scandal in the Country Park. It is therefore depressing, if not entirely unexpected, to see that in the face of often well-researched and thorough criticisms of their actions Hastings Borough Council has opted to sideline troublesome complainants by labelling them as ‘vexatious and vociferous’. Bernard McGinley lodges his own complaint about the bunker mentality being increasingly adopted in the Town Hall.

Peter Chowney, second from left, at the launch of a new edition of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (photo: HBC).

Peter Chowney responds to council critics

Rocklands, the Country Park, Sea Change projects – Hastings Borough Council’s handling of such planning and development issues spawn regular critical contributions to HOT’s columns and high levels of readership. We invited council leader, Peter Chowney to respond to some of the criticism, which he did in a recent interview with Nick Terdre.

  • Subscribe to HOT

  • SUPPORT HOT

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!

    ADVERTISE

    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…

    DONATE

    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal. It’s easy!

    VOLUNTEER

    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

    SUBSCRIBE
  • Subscribe to HOT