Councillors Trevor Webb & Jeremy Birch, report from Central St Leonards

Signage

The first of the five new large directional signs being installed in Central St Leonards has been unveiled. There will be five at strategic locations around St Leonards: one on each side of Warrior Square station, one at the junction of Kings Road and London Road, one on the promenade by Warrior Square and the one on the seafront at the foot of London Road which was officially unveiled. This was done by Cllr Jeremy Birch, the artist Danny Mooney who designed the motif and representatives of the Town Team who did so much work with the council (who paid for the signs) in deciding on the designs, the information to be displayed and on the locations.

Coastal Space

Your Central St Leonards council team attended the official opening of St Mary’s House – the eleven flat redevelopment of the derelict former St Mary’s Nursing Home. In some ways this is the most important of the Coastal Space properties as it is in such a prominent positon on the junction of Carisbrooke and Stockleigh Roads. Refurbishing and reusing this building helps to uplift the appearance of the whole area. Certainly the fit-out in the individual flats maintains the quality that the project has brought to the other properties that have been improved. Work is underway currently on 14 and 28 Carisbrooke Road and 10 Stockleigh Road. They all have deadlines by the end of the financial year (March) and all involve the same Coastal Space philosophy of improving and adapting privately rented accommodation in to better quality social rented property with the lettings arranged by the council and aimed at people in work or in training. These properties will fulfil the 38 flats earmarked for the first phase. The plan is for 30 more properties in a second phase commencing in 2015 – again financed by Hastings Borough Council, AmicusHorizon housing association which will own the properties and the Homes and Communities Agency. This project is really making a difference to the Seven Streets area.

Caves Road

The council planning committee has approved an application for the re-development of a former scaffold yard and an end of terrace house (nos 48-49 caves Road) with a three-storey building comprising six one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom flat. Planning permission was granted earlier last month for the erection of three replacement terraced houses at 50, 51 & 52 Caves Road. Now have to see whether or how quickly any implementation of the planning permissions will be forthcoming.

Frost Fair, 29th November

This was a huge success and congratulations are due to the Town Team, the market organiser and those who arranged the colourful parade which included over 100 people and the magnificent horses and carriage. The event drew in families and shoppers from outside as well as from within St Leonards which of course was the aim. The busy street market down the middle of Kings Road was a great launchpad for the monthly street markets planned from Spring next year.

St Leonards festival 2015

The council is once again putting up the money to appoint an organiser for next year’s St Leonards Festival who like this year will hopefully be able to bring in additional money for the event. Potential organisers have responded to the invitation to bid for the task and will be interviewed by representatives of the council and of the Town Team.

Press coverage on St Leonards

This appeared in the Guardian 16th November, it speaks for itself really: “More graceful than neighbouring Hastings (the two are joined at the hip), St Leonards enjoys a legacy of grand terraces and squares planned by architects James and Decimus Burton in about 1830. It looks a bit shabby these days, but chic, too, in an edgy, Hoxton sort of way. People come to shop on boho Norman Road – big on vintage, retro, Russian art, gluten-free – or to parade up and down the prom between the wreckage of Hastings Pier (all set for a grand reopening next year) and the art deco behemoth, Marine Court (the tallest apartment block in Britain when it was built in 1937). There’s more architecture at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, only four miles away. Michelin-listed St Clements Restaurant does a cracking Sunday lunch. The winter sunsets are legendary. Stay Zanzibar is right on the seafront, with stylish rooms and the Pier Nine restaurant (plus complementary hot chocolate at bedtime). Author Kathryn Flett’s arts and crafts cottage on Caple Gardens sleeps eight and has nice wallpapers and an optional beach hut.”

Report by Cllr Jeremy Birch and Cllr Trevor Webb