Core Strategy Preferred Approaches

Ended on the 8th July 2008
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Strategic Objectives

5.1 To achieve the vision, we have identified a number of strategic objectives, grouping them under five themes.

5.2 The 2006 “Issues and Options” consultation showed that whilst there was general agreement with the suggested objectives some refinement was needed. As a result some of the objectives have been combined, others re-worded. Others have been removed, as they did not relate specifically to planning and development issues. Critical success factors now accompany each objective. These show what needs to be achieved, working with existing partnerships, agencies, groups and communities, in order to meet the objectives.

5.3 We will adopt a coherent approach to the regeneration of Hastings and Bexhill as a Primary Urban Area. This will recognise and build on the interdependencies of the two towns and the surrounding area.

5.4 We will work with developers and partners to support planned employment and housing growth through the provision of infrastructure and services including the education facilities, healthcare provision and transport.

5.5 All the objectives run to December 2026, and are supported by a number of targets to monitor success and progress – these are set out in the relevant sections of the Core Strategy.

Regeneration, housing and employment:

(13) Objective 1: 

Increase business activity and create employment through town centre office developments, more high quality flexible industrial floor space, and excellent education and training.

Critical Success Factors:

  • A net increase of 32,000m² in town centre office floor space by 2016.
  • Expansion of the education sector to support training and development, requiring 36,000m² of floorspace by delivering the college sites at Station Plaza and Ore Valley and Phase 2 University Centre Hastings by 2011.
  • Increase in business activity (measured by an increase in VAT registrations).

(19) Objective 2: 

Provide additional homes that give a range of housing options for existing and future residents, including the provision of affordable housing.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Provide for at least 4200 new dwellings between 2006 and 2026 in line with Draft South East Plan requirements.
  • Affordable housing provided on all suitable sites of 15 dwellings or more
  • Widen the range of housing available in Central St Leonards, particularly by increasing the amount of social rented housing.
  • Reduce the proportion of single person households in Central St Leonards to below 50% by 2021 as revealed by the 2021 Census.

(10) Objective 3: 

Identify sufficient land and floor space that will support the needs and opportunities for business, retail, education and skills sectors, to strengthen the local economy and enable increases in economic activity rates, employment rates, and average wages.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Provide for at least 60,500m² of modern, purpose-built industrial and warehouse floorspace on land outside of the town centre to meet needs identified by studies.
  • Improve our relative position on (workplace-based) wage rates in Hastings by closing the gap between Hastings and East Sussex median average.

(12) Objective 4: 

Prioritise the use of previously developed land.

Critical Success Factor:

  • At least 60% of residential development each year to be on previously developed land.

Retail:

(11) Objective 5: 

Identify and promote retail sites in Hastings town centre and St Leonards district centre.

Critical Success Factors:

  • A net increase of 15,500m² in purpose-built town centre comparison goods retail floorspace to address a shortfall in scale and quality identified by retail studies (consisting of gross 30,000m² including related service trade shops).
  • An increase of 2,600m² of purpose-built retail/commercial floorspace in St Leonards District centre from the Crystal Square development.

(10) Objective 6: 

Monitor and facilitate district centres of St Leonards and Ore and the local shopping areas of Old Town, Silverhill and Bohemia, so that they are safe, attractive and thriving places, which make a positive contribution to the local economy.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Ground floor vacancy rates maintained at less than 15% in district and local shopping areas.
  • Local shopping areas to retain basic services such as a small supermarket, a sub-post office, pharmacy, bank and newsagent.

Transport and accessibility:

(17) Objective 7: 

Work at a local, county and national level to secure improvements in strategic transport infrastructure so that the town performs as a regional hub.

Critical Success Factors:

  • The Bexhill and Hastings Link road open by 2011.
  • The Baldslow link between Queensway and The Ridge/A21 to be open by 2011.

(18) Objective 8: 

All major development schemes will identify and promote sustainable alternatives to car use including walking, cycling and public transport.

Critical Success Factors:

  • We currently require travel plans for commercial development schemes of over 10,000m² gross floorspace. Guidance on the production on travel plans is the subject of further work by East Sussex County Council, this will take account of national guidance published in 2007, and revised proposals are anticipated later in 2008.

Quality of life and health:

(17) Objective 9: 

Achieve the sustainable and continued use of the seafront by ensuring it has a range of year round activities and facilities that attract residents, workers and visitors.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Secure a sustainable future for Hastings Pier and the redundant White Rock Baths by 2015.
  • Expand the national cycleway route along the seafront to join up Grosvenor Gardens and Galley Hill in Rother.
  • Additional good quality tourist bedspaces through the provision of new facilities and the upgrading of existing ones.

(79) Objective 10: 

Enable an increased take-up of sports, leisure and cultural activities by residents and visitors through the provision of accessible and affordable facilities and programmes.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Work with Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council to develop the new Pebsham Countryside Park by 2016.
  • Expand the national cycleway route along the seafront to join up Grosvenor gardens and Galley Hill in Rother.
  • Provide an improved and upgraded sports and leisure complex serving the whole town by 2012.

(79) Objective 11: 

Improve the health and well being of the population, reduce crime and contribute to community cohesion by providing community facilities, promoting ‘secure by design’ and establishing a network of open and green spaces that are easily reached by residents, and which promote biodiversity.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Establish a strategic network of multifunctional greenspace and cycle and pedestrian routes giving access to greenspace and connecting communities.
  • Increase the percentage of households within 300 metres of a multifunctional greenspace, which meet the Councils’ quality standard in all relevant respects by not less than 4% in each of the next five years and to at least 90% by 2013.
  • All planning applications likely to raise security and crime prevention issues including all licensed premises, larger housing and commercial developments, hot food take-aways, new shop fronts and security shutters to be referred to the Police Authority’s crime prevention design advisor.
  • Increase the number of working allotments.

Environment and Sustainability:

(23) Objective 12: 

Enable the delivery of high quality and sustainably designed developments.

Critical Success Factors:

  • All major housing developments (10 or more dwellings) to be appraised against Council for Architecture and The Built Environment guidance by 2010.
  • 10% of energy used in new major developments (10 or more dwellings/0.5ha or 1000m²) to come from on-site renewables.

(18) Objective 13: 

Promote, enhance and manage the town’s unique cultural heritage, historic buildings and natural landscape; making best use of the town’s individual character and environment, to contribute to economic regeneration.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Manage Hastings Country Park Local Nature Reserve to enhance biodiversity and improve opportunities for informal recreation.
  • Carry out a review of Sites of Nature Conservation Interest in 2008 to identify those areas of most value to local communities and for biodiversity.
  • £1.7m of Townscape Heritage Initiative funding spent on building restoration by 2011.
  • A new library in Hastings town centre
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