Core Strategy Preferred Approaches
Hastings and Bexhill – a shared vision
5.6 Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council recognise the close inter-relationship between Hastings and Bexhill.
5.7 This is not only a reflection of their physical proximity (being virtually co-joined with their centres some 5 miles apart), but they are economically inter-dependent. Hastings is the centre of the ‘travel to work area’ for much of Rother District. Some 10,000 people commute across the Hastings/Rother boundary each day, a half of which are between Hastings and Bexhill. Between them, the two towns serve a much wider area and both have important roles as centres for education, employment and housing.
5.8 This level of connectivity inevitably means that, to a large extent, the towns face similar (though not identical) issues and that their futures themselves are intertwined. Added to this, there is a shared interest in the urban fringes, particularly in the area between the towns where a countryside park is being promoted by both Councils.
5.9 Both towns are reliant on the same road and rail infrastructure, neither of which is currently serving the area well, especially in terms of helping economic investment.
5.10 It is therefore important that the strategies for development and change for Hastings and Bexhill need to be consistent, and complimentary, to be fully effective.
5.11 The two Councils have been working closely in developing an understanding of common issues as well as the testing of policy responses.
- To develop an integrated learning and employment strategy, in conjunction with other key agencies, that secures both increased skills and business investment across the area
- To support the Bexhill/Hastings Link Road and the Baldslow link as being essential for the economic and social regeneration of the two towns and to improve road and rail connections to the rest of the South East
- To develop and support a ‘local transport strategy’ for Hastings and Bexhill that brings forward more sustainable travel patterns and critical investment in all modes of transport infrastructure
- To ensure that there is a range of housing supply across Hastings and Bexhill to support sustainable growth, including for economically active people and families
- To secure investment in, and otherwise assist, areas of socio-economic need, with particular regard to social inclusion, getting people back into work and dealing with the problems created by the ‘ informal economy’
- To promote the development of Pebsham Countryside Park and other cross-boundary environmental schemes, including green space and urban fringe management
- To recognise the important contribution of culture, sports, arts, tourism and leisure to the economies of Hastings and Bexhill and to the health and well-being of people living there.