Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

St Leonards Regeneration

Enthusiasm continues to build for community participation in the regeneration of Central St Leonards, as was demonstrated at yet another packed meeting on Thursday 8 March which heard that a ‘Town Team’ is taking shape, writes Richard Hull.

Nearly 80 people once again packed into the Magnet meeting room to further develop community plans for housing-led regeneration based around a core area of the ‘seven streets’ bordered by Pevensey, Silchester and Kenilworth Roads. After hearing progress updates participants divided into six groups to explore topics such as possible uses of the United Reformed Church and the care of public spaces.

The meeting heard important news of extensions to the regeneration plans. As reported previously housing association Local Space will be purchasing 30-40 residential properties in the seven streets over the next three years for renovation and letting via AmicusHorizon housing association to local residents through a new Local Lettings Plan to be developed by Hastings Borough Council. However, in recognition of the need also for economic regeneration of areas such as Kings Road, Local Space and HBC will be purchasing 10 mixed-use properties such as shops with flats above, and Andrew Palmer, HBC’s Head of Housing, confirmed to Hastings Online Times that the government’s Homes & Communities Agency will now provide “substantial financial support” for this initiative.

Seeking further funding, Local Space and John Thompson Partnerships will be working in the area over the next few weeks to prepare a bid to be one of 12 ‘Portas Pilots’, town centres with visionary regeneration plans who will receive a share of a £1 million pot.  It is as part of this process that an embryonic Town Team is developing, consisting of representatives from local businesses, community groups and other interested organisations.

In other developments, the derelict former St Mary’s Nursing Home on Carisbrooke Road moves closer to rehabilitation following the absence of objections to HBC’s application for a Compulsory Purchase Order; exciting plans for using the former United Reformed Church on London Road as a community centre were presented; and the Wonky Women’s Institute has secured agreement from Roost Ltd to use empty land on Western Road as a temporary vegetable and fruit garden.

A strong plea for retaining the unique heritage of St Leonards was also voiced, with particular reference to the two private sector plans for large-scale high-density developments at the former Archery Ground (see also Gladedale story) and the convent on Magdalen Road (as reported here).

The next meeting is at 7pm on Thursday 5 April at the Magnet, Christ Church Courtyard, London Road, St Leonards.

For further information contact Ieva Ansaberga at John Thompson & Partners, or on 020 7017 1780.

See here for further details of the ideas for the former United Reform Church.



Posted 17:41 Friday, Mar 9, 2012 In: Campaigns

1 Comment

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