Ore ward report (July 2017)

If you would like to discuss any of the items below or to sign up for our monthly email report, please contact Cllrs Richard Street and Michael Wincott

Sandown School crossing

As we’ve reported before, the upgrade of the crossing in front of Sandown School on The Ridge to a light-controlled Puffin crossing will take place later this month. As soon as the school breaks up for the summer holiday, the workers move in. The new crossing will be to the west of the present zebra crossing. The vehicle entrance will be in line with the zebra crossing and the pedestrian access to the east of the present one. We have long campaigned for this alongside the school, parents and other local residents and look forward to it being operational in time for the new school year in September. Inevitably there will be delays for traffic on The Ridge during the works but that’s a price well worth paying.

Local planning applications

Following the withdrawal of their previous application for the former King’s Head in Rye Road, a new application has been submitted for 12 two and three bedroom flats. The one public comment received so far raises no objection. You can view the plans and comment on them here.

440 Old London Road has stood empty for some time since Bromlys newsagents closed. An application has been received to convert this premises to a micro-pub which will “serve cask ales and promote conversation, shun all forms of electronic entertainment”. Unusually, many comments in support of this proposal have been posted. You can view the details and comment on this application here.

The application to convert the building currently used as the Men’s Shed at 20 Manhattan Gardens into 4 houses has been withdrawn.

Middle Road closure

Middle Road is to be closed from 24th July for approximately seven weeks from its junction with Brightling Avenue to its junction with Fairlight Road, a distance of 250 metres. This is to allow Southern Gas Networks to carry out service connection works. Diversions will be in place via Beacon Road/Crowborough Road and The Broadway/Fairlight Road. If you need to discuss this further please contact: Southern Gas Networks 01233 649237.

Compulsory purchase of empty homes

The Council’s Cabinet meeting on 10th July will consider initiating Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proceedings for 12 long term empty properties in order to bring them back into use as homes. Some of these are within Ore ward though actual addresses are not yet in the public domain. This policy was introduced in 2005 and many properties have been restored to the town’s housing stock as a result. All of the properties on the latest list have been empty for more than 4 years and the owners have failed to respond positively to the Council’s requests for action. In addition, they often become the target for anti-social behaviour. With so many people in the town on the waiting list for a place to live, it is appalling that perfectly decent properties can be left empty for so long. Once purchased, the houses will be sold on to a local housing association or on the open market with a condition that they are brought back into use within a set timescale.

Fire safety

Following the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire in London, questions have been asked about the safety of tower blocks and public buildings in Hastings. Optivo (formerly AmicusHorizon) has assured the Council that the Four Courts blocks in Hollington are safe. We have received the following statement from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust: “The Trust has complied with all directives from NHS England and as such ESHT was included on an initial list of NHS Properties with a certain cladding. Cladding samples were then removed from all Trust buildings and were provisionally tested by ourselves, prior to more detailed instructions being received from NHS Improvement.
Our testing of these sample cladding panels gave no immediate cause for concern and following discussions with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service we have not been assessed as an immediate risk. Therefore none of the Fire Strategies applying to Trust buildings have been changed.”

Ore Community Café

20th June saw the official opening of the new Ore Community Café at the Ore Community Centre. Mayor, Cllr Judy Rogers, cut the ribbon. The new café is run by Education Futures Trust and uses FareShare products and ingredients provided by local supermarkets so costs of the healthy food are kept low – no meal costs more than £3.50. Free meals are provided to those identified as in need. It is open Monday-Friday from 9:30–2:30. Richard attended the opening and won a healthy food hamper in the raffle (photo)!

Recordings of all public Council meetings can now be found on the Council’s website. This replaces any links we’ve shared in previous reports.

ore_together_colourWe listen to the concerns of local residents and traders at 18:15 on the first Thursday of each month. Why not come and join us to listen or raise your concerns?
All meetings will be at the
Ore Community Centre, 455 Old London Road. Details can be found here.

About The Author

Hastings and Rye Labour