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Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Photo courtesy Ali Godarzi

Love St Leonards

Community planning for a housing-led regeneration of Central St Leonards took further steps forward at another packed meeting on Thursday 12 April, reports Richard Hull, including the proposal for a Love St Leonards Day on June 23.

After a viewing of the Glynnis Jacques video submitted for the Portas Pilot bid (see our earlier report), the meeting heard updates on a number of recent developments. The Wonky Women’s Institute announced the launch of a blog charting the progress of their portable community allotment garden (www.moveablefeastgarden.wordpress.com) and they hope to be opening the site at 57-59 Western Road on June 1. In addition local businessman Ali Godarzi reported that his new community web site (here) and its associated Facebook page (here) had gained over 500 hits within their first three days, including someone from the north of England who said, “You have a beautiful place there, but where is it?”

In a pattern established at previous meetings a number of working groups then met to discuss specific aspects of the regeneration. It was the group focusing on improving the public spaces of St Leonards that proposed the Love St Leonards Day to coincide with the National Markets Day on June 23, in a clear move to prefigure the Portas Pilot bid proposal for a weekly market on the forecourt of St Leonards Warrior Square station.

The need for a building to house various activities such as a health and healing centre and a heritage centre was again highlighted and at this point a strong intervention was made by members of the Respond Academy who urged people to support the current owner of the former United Reformed Church in his attempts to gain planning permission for just such a purpose.

As at previous meetings there was good and supportive input from some of the many small businesses in the area who affirmed that the Central St Leonards Business Association is now the principle representative body with good links to other local business-oriented web sites such as those for Norman Road and Kings Road.

Finally the Town Team group reported their moves towards defining the coordination, representation and liaison functions of the Team, including further defining what is the current ethos or feel of Central St Leonards that will be important to retain and develop under any regeneration.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 24 May, again at The Magnet in the Christchurch Centre, London Road. For further details contact Symon Sentain of Local Space at SymonS@localspace.co.uk.

Posted 16:52 Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 In: Campaigns

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