Hastings' Queensbury House: Work starts to clear out derelict building that could be turned into 89 flats

Work is under way to clear a vacant office building in the town centre, which could be turned into 89 new apartments.

Workmen were seen this week clearing out parts of Queensbury House, in Havelock Road, which has been empty for a number of years.

Earlier this month, property develop Dale Real Estate Ltd submitted an application to the borough council seeking a Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use (CLEUD) connected with plans to convert the derelict building into 89 apartments.

The application is a technical matter, potentially allowing the developer to show how conversion works secured through permitted development rights have started.

The existing prior approval, a consent to carry out works allowed through permitted development rights, had been due to expire in February after initially being secured in February 2021.

Previous consents to convert Queensbury House, which were secured in 2014 and 2016, had expired due to a lack of ‘material commencement of development’. Plans approved in 2018 by the council to convert the seven-storey building into a hotel and gym had also lapsed.

Works have started both inside and outside the building, with the stripping of materials from several floors and the removal of asbestos tiles from the exterior.

In the application to the council, a spokesman for the developer said: “The evidence submitted with this CLEUD demonstrates that the internal conversion works have substantially advanced.”

In recent months, the state of the derelict building has raised safety concerns.

Last November, county councillor Phil Scott described the building as ‘clearly dangerous’ and called on Hastings Borough Council to consider taking enforcement action.

In response, the council said its building control team was considering an investigation into a ‘potential dangerous building case’.

A fire also broke out at the site in July last year, with multiple fire crews sent to the scene. And in August 2021, Havelock Road was shut down following an incident in which brickwork fell from the side of Queensbury House onto the pavement below.

For further information about the application, search for reference HS/EX/24/00154 on Hastings Borough Council’s planning portal.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.