Former Debenhams building in Hastings

Hastings Debenhams - plan revealed for part of building

A new planning application has given further hints to what may lay ahead for a former department store in Hastings.

By Huw Oxburgh, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 20th December 2021, 12:21 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 1:26 pm

In an application to Hastings Borough Council, a company known as C&O Entertainment Limited is seeking planning permission to open a games arcade on the first floor of the former Debenhams building in Robertson Street.

According to the application, which seeks a change of use of part of the building, the arcade would include pinball machines as well as virtual reality and dance games. 

While the proposed arcade would only cover a small portion of the store, architectural floor plans submitted as part of the application hint at what may be set to come for the rest of the building. 

These floor plans show an indoor soft play area, cafe, children’s mini-golf area and a three-lane bowling alley. It also enigmatically labels one area as a ‘donkey derby’.

These would all be on the first floor of the building, the plans show.

Although these elements do not form part of the planning application, they are consistent with longer term plans set out by the building’s owner, a family-owned development company called Moxie, which has previously spoken of hopes to house a number of ‘indoor entertainment uses’ within the building. 

Moxie took ownership of the building in January 2020, shortly before Debenhams announced plans to close its Hastings store. The store closed for the final time in May.

The application offers some other hints as to how the building may operate, with opening hours set at 9am to 11pm 

The application also says the proposals would bring in 45 full time equivalent jobs.

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