Archery Road Housing
Major housing development in a historic Burton landscape.
Archery Road will provide 121 sustainable, high quality homes with sea views surrounded by the quiet natural and built beauty of St. Leonard’s on Sea, overlooking the English Channel. This will be the largest new development since James Burton and his son Decimus first developed St. Leonard’s as a planned, seaside resort in the 19th century.
The Archery Ground, a former quarry used in the 19th century by the Royal St. Leonard’s Archers and laid out as a garden was turned to educational use for the Hastings College of Art and Technology in the 1950’s. The new scheme will provide:
- a public garden square at the centre of the historic Archery Ground
- a new wildlife reserve
- flats clustered around a landscaped podium with cascading steps leading down towards the sea
- 24 apartments converted from the listed Archery Villas
- 97 new homes ranging from four bed houses to one bed flats – the mix designed to met the actual requirements of community.
The design takes its form, layout and a restrained neo-classical language from the listed Decimus Burton Villas, where MBA have designed a new answering crescent. New housing is in clusters of stuccoed villas, carefully placed to maximise sea views. At the upper part of the site a multi storey car park provides a podium at the base of four small towers of flats, carefully aligned to look through and over the lower development towards the sea.
The project had an unusual planning history. Widespread local opposition to an earlier scheme for the site resulted in a five day public enquiry at which the objectors ‘Save the Archery Ground’ [STAG], were represented as a third party. The inspector dismissed the earlier scheme for reasons of conservation and design.
In 2013 MBA were appointed to re-think the whole project. They adopted a consultative, listening approach, engaged with STAG and the wider community, and held a series of design meetings and public exhibitions as the design progressed.
The revised scheme was supported by the previous opposers. Secretary of State for planning Nick Boles visited the site on 21 October 2013 to meet STAG, MBA and the developer to investigate this remarkable turn-around. The new design was unanimously approved by the planning committee in November 2013. It was described as:
“… an inspiring example of community activism… I must commend the work of Marcus Beale whose architectural designs are superb”
Amber Rudd MP
“The developers went above and beyond in terms of consultation. This is a superb scheme and we should all embrace it.”
Councillor Michael Wincott, speaking at the planning meeting.
The development is now being taken forward by Gemselect Ltd and we have submitted a revised application for various minor amendments to the scheme including:
- level access pathways to make the development more accessible in Archery Crescent,
- additional pitched roofs instead of flat roofs,
- reducing the height of one of the buildings,
- removing the pedestrian bridge over the wildlife reserve and
- providing railings and hedges over low walls instead of high blank walls on the southern boundary of Archery Gardens.
The location of the buildings, the size, quality and layout of individual houses and flats remain unchanged.
These amendments do not threaten the overall character or appearance of the scheme which was granted consent. Most are aesthetic and practical improvements.
The pedestrian bridge linking the flats to Highland Gardens raised concerns about safety, maintenance and insurance. Advice from Sussex Police was that the bridge would reduce community safety and might create a focal gathering point with potential for noise and anti social behaviour. There are several other accessible pedestrian routes linking the development outwards onto Archery Road.
Here are details of the revised application submitted in February 2015:
Information about the scheme approved in 2014.
- Archery Road – Drawings – 2015
- Archery Road – Design & Access Statement – 2013
- Archery Road – Design & Access Statement – 2015