As anticipated in HIP Issue 135, rival bids for the development of the former power station site at Ore Valley are now being reviewed by estate agents Savills on behalf of the regeneration company Seaspace which owns it. 

Having set a deadline of the end of September for submission of proposals, Seaspace issued a statement last week that it is “pleased with the interest levels” arising. “We heard presentations from a number of bidders, who put forward a wide range of approaches for delivering of housing on the site – with no two parties proposing the same. There were several very well thought-out proposals which need to be reviewed in greater detail.

“Our agents are now carefully reviewing the information presented, seeking clarifications where necessary, and will report this back to our board in the near future with comments and recommendations.”

Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust have confirmed to HIP that they are among the bidders, promising on their website a “Bottom Up Development” approach that would “deliver 77 homes, up to 100 jobs and lasting regeneration with wider benefits for the whole town”. It is understood that Gemselect Limited, the housing company based in Battle whose current projects include buildings at Archery Gardens and at Campkin Gardens (opposite Beauport Park), have also submitted proposals.

Meanwhile the cabinet of Hastings Borough Council agreed unanimously last week to acquire the freehold of woodland and waste ground in the valley from Seaspace. Council leader Peter Chowney described the land concerned as an “urban wilderness” which would have “no human access”. The intention was to transfer it to a conservation group that could “help to enhance and protect the biodiversity of the area”. Initial repairs and maintenance costs, estimated at some £57,000 (excluding VAT), would be funded from specific reserves of the council retained from a previous Section 106 agreement.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.