Sports village plans attract positive response

A water colour of what the sports village might look like, showing the main cricket ground with the football stadium and sports hall in the background.
A water colour of what the sports village might look like, showing the main cricket ground with the football stadium and sports hall in the background.
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The plans for a new state-of-the-art sports complex in St Leonards have been met with a positive response, according to those involved.

Observer Sport reported last week that the exciting development - potentially the biggest sporting venture Hastings and St Leonards has ever seen - would give Hastings United Football Club a 3,000 capacity stadium, and a new home for Hastings Priory Cricket Club and South Saxons Hockey Club.

Combe Valley Sports Village, as the project has been named (although that’s not necessarily what the venue would be called if it gets council approval), would be situated on the middle two tiers of the existing Bexhill Road playing fields.

Hastings United director Dave Nessling said: “Everything has been extremely positive; we’ve not had anything negative. One or two supporters don’t want to see us relocate before the new facilities are ready and that just will not happen.”

Nessling added that a few queries have been raised on an unofficial Hastings United online supporters’ forum which he planned to address at a meeting with supporters last night (Thursday).

As well as the football stadium, the project also features a senior and junior cricket ground, floodlit artificial grass pitches (catering for football, rugby and American football), several grass football pitches, an artificial sand-dressed hockey pitch (also to cater for tennis and football), two squash courts, and facilities for netball and petanque.

A guide to the proposed Combe Valley Sports Village layout.

A guide to the proposed Combe Valley Sports Village layout.

What’s more, there would be a four-court indoor sports hall, a 120-station gym and educational facilities for Sussex Coast College Hastings, plus additional facilities for social and club activity.

The project would be financed by a quality residential development at The Pilot Field - Hastings United’s present home - plus a residential development at Horntye Park Sports Complex - where South Saxons and Hastings Priory are currently based - and on a third site.

Peter Finch, chairman of the Horntye Park management company, said: “I must say it (feedback) has been pretty good. People are quite supportive, we’ve not had anything negative yet. We’ve made it pretty clear we’re out to improve everything for everybody.”

Hastings United, the Horntye Park Trust and their partners in the project intend to have a planning application ready for submission some time in January.

How the site of the planned Combe Valley Sports Village looks today.

How the site of the planned Combe Valley Sports Village looks today.

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