Plans for a major new development in Robertsbridge, to include nearly 100 new homes, went on display on Tuesday evening (January 26).
Two hundred people piled into Robertsbridge Hall to see the plans for the redevelopment of the Hodson’s Mill site.
The site has stood empty for almost 17 years, but now developers Stiles Harold Williams have unveiled ambitious plans to rejuvenate the derelict eyesore.
As well as 95 homes - ranging from five bedroom houses to retirement flats to starter homes - the development will include commercial space, to be used for offices or healthcare.
The Oast House has been earmarked for use as a potential art gallery or museum and there are hopes to reinstate the traditional roof, which was previously damaged by fire.
Alex Bateman, associate planner at Stiles Harold Wilson, said of the historic building: “We feel it deserves an occupant that would respect it, rather than an office and flats.
“We feel something like an art gallery or museum would compliment that very well.”
He added: “We are trying to draw people into the space and something like an art gallery would draw people’s attention.”
The development would also include ‘at least’ three areas of open space, including a children’s play area.
The proposal also includes 240 parking spaces.
The unveiling of the plans follow discussions between the developer, Salehurst and Robertsbridge Parish Council and Rother District Council.
One thousand flyers were distributed to local residents ahead of the consultation event and the developer’s vision for the site has also been presented via a comprehensive website, complete with a number of artist’s impressions.
Mr Bateman was on hand to answer questions from residents at the consultation event and said most of the comments were ‘positive’.
He said: “We tried to get as much information out about this as possible.
“We are trying to get it right and not rush it.”
Once residents’ comments have been considered, it is hoped a planning application will be submitted by the end of February or the beginning or March.
To find out more about the plans, visit www.hodsonsmill.co.uk or follow @hodsonsmill on Twitter for the latest developments.