With regard to the planning meeting held at Hastings Borough Council the committee’s decision on the proposed new visitor centre was a foregone conclusion.
Many people from Fairlight, including the parish council, objected to the visitor centre being erected at this site. No consideration was given to their views whatsoever even though they will be the ones to suffer from continuous disturbance. Their human rights to quiet enjoyment of their property was completely ignored.
When a neighbour and I measured from the kerb where the new centre will be to the border of the nearest property we measured 125 feet. No distance at all. Everyone from both boroughs will be affected by the desecration of this country park.
This is not a visitor centre in the normal sense of the word. It will no longer be a nature reserve but a recreation centre with little or no respect for the wildlife it purports to protect. This will affect all those people who come to the park for a peaceful walk in stunning surroundings.
With regard to the removal of the gorse this has created a quagmire from a once beautiful landscape and we feel that this has been done under the guise of heathland management. We also believe it was removed purely to give a better view of the sea from the visitor centre when it is erected.
The removal of the gorse has increased the amount of water lying on and seeping into these cliffs, as there is no longer any vegetation to help soak it up. This increases the amount of water flowing into Fairlight village. The problems the villagers experience with cliff falls is not only caused by cliff erosion from the sea but by landslip due to water retention.
Even though it is not illegal for a council to give itself permission it is certainly a law that needs to be changed, it does not sit well.
The country park was gifted so commercial ventures like this would not take place and Hastings Borough Council should view themselves as custodians not commercial developers.