HBC’s White Rock Proposals, as recommended in White Arkitekter’s design report, represents to many residents an unacceptable loss of greenspace.
Apparently there were over 700 comments made by the public as part of HBC’s Public Consultation exercise on their proposals for the White Rock Area, but as yet none have been published. Consequently, the rumour that they were all negative cannot be verified, nor indeed can it be denied. HUDG does not know why they still haven’t been published, but should we find out we will update this page.
We understand that HBC are constantly under financial pressure from having their Central Government support grants repeatedly cut, and need to examine other potential income streams. Whilst the potential development value of HBC’s land ownership at White Rock may appear a Godsend in such cash strapped times, we would urge caution in proceeding with the proposals as presented. We believe there are some fundamental flaws in their consultant’s report.
Further information to be added (critique).
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It is self-evident that one of the prime assets of a seaside town is it’s seafront.
After a number of years of neglect, there have been some small scale improvements instigated by HBC, ranging from activity areas, to improved planting, to the provision of kiosks serving snacks and drinks, and finally after a long drawn out contract the remodelling of the fountain opposite the White Rock Hotel. All very welcome, but relatively modest improvements. There is still no major reason for visitors to the Old Town to venture beyond the Pier.
Over the years there have been a number of suggestions for improving connectivity along the seafront to increase visitor footfall to Central and West St Leonard’s.
A “land-train” operated briefly along the promenade, running from the Pier to St Leonard’s, but was quietly withdrawn from service. Suggestions have been put forward from time to time for a tram, or light rail fixed link, perhaps extending as far a Glyne Gap, but so far, to our knowledge, no detailed feasibility study has been undertaken. Perhaps the answer to better communications is quite simple – just ensure that there is a frequent return bus service that runs the length of the seafront from the Old Town to Glyne Gap.
Given the new post-Covid agenda to improve active travel could the seafront become a key location for the suggested “Greening of Hastings” initiative? (page link) The promenade and adjacent A259 could be transformed into a well-planted linear park, with the benefit of sea views, not only to encourage more walking and cycling for residents but also to entice visitors to explore beyond the Pier. Combined with the suggested Art Trail this could prove a transformative initiative for the west-end of town (see Urban Room Projects).