Derelict Hastings building branded a ‘major fire risk’ by residents

Residents are calling for action to be taken on a derelict building, which they say is blighting their neighbourhood and a safety risk.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 2:31 pm
L-R: Georgina Graham, Mark Taylor, Michael Graham and Virginia Mitchell in front of 309 to 311 Harold Road in Hastings SUS-210518-154814001

The property, at 309-311 Harold Road, Ore, has been earmarked for demolition for several years.

In November 2018 developers were granted planning permission by Hastings Borough Council to knock it down and build seven terraced houses in its place with off-street parking.

But no development has taken place since the authority granted permission and residents said the disused building was now a ‘major fire risk’.

Mark Taylor of Harold Road, said: “Now that the electorate has spoken in the May 2021 elections it is time that action is taken on what is probably the worst run-down property in Hastings and Ore.

“This triple apex property and adjoining units which have asbestos roofing is a blight on the neighbourhood.

“It has been left to fall into rack and ruin and it’s not good enough.

“I raised the issue with the powers-that-be during the election canvassing.

“The building has planning permission granted for demolition and new starter homes but the state of the property is of great concern, both from a substantial risk view point but also to visitors in the area.

“The risk of a major fire at the site would have grave consequences, not only for the adjoining properties but also to the Harold Road are.

“Previous attempts to have the problem dealt with have fallen on deaf ears.

“The whole building ought to be subjected to a compulsory purchase order, total demolition and either homes that are badly needed to be erected, or for the site to be turned into off-street car permit parking.”

Mr Taylor told the Observer he had been asking for enforcement action to be taken by the borough council since December 2019, more than a year after planning permission was granted by council planners for the development at the site to go ahead.

A spokesman for Hastings Borough Council said: “The council’s Planning Enforcement Team are currently investigating the matter.”