Hastings Development Management Plan was adopted at a full Council meeting on 23 September. The area of Speckled Wood that will now be protected from development includes the site next to Victoria Avenue and the small site behind School Road, as recommended by the Planning Inspector at the DMP Examination. Only the small area of land from Clifton Road is designated for housing development. This means that almost all of Speckled Wood must be kept as urban green space, which is a great victory for the 10 year community campaign to save this important woodland valley.
Creating a Community Owned Woodland is the next stage in the process for which Ore Community Land Trust was launched in 2009.
Although Speckled Wood is now protected from development, it is mostly in the ownership of a number of individuals and two developers, except for some areas of Council owned land, some unregistered land and the footpaths & tracks.
We have now set about strengthening our organisation and will be starting the process of acquiring land in Speckled Wood this year. To undertake this challenge we will be working with Hastings Borough Council and other organisations and making major grant applications. We will be developing an ecologically sensitive land management plan, led by a local landscape architect and involving all sections of the local community.
Our Projects to Provide New Amenities for Ore are another important aim to make Speckled Wood a really valuable community asset, while ensuring that the woodland is enhanced and animal habitat protected.
These Projects include:
• A Village Green, Children’s Play Area and Performance Space
• Restoring the Disused Allotments
• Supporting the Construction of the Ore Valley Greenway – walking & cycling Network including the section through Speckled Wood
Would You Like To Get Involved in this exciting work?
We are a membership organisation, accountable to our members and the whole community.
– You could become a member and help to influence and support the work of Ore Community Land Trust.
– We would like to recruit more members to serve on our Committee or help with specific projects – for example would you be interested in taking on an allotment? or do you have a particular skill or area of expertise that would help in our work plan?
– We would also like to find more volunteers who could help with footpath and vegetation clearance and other woodland work. – we have just started on a programme to repair and improve the network of steps that our volunteer team constructed some years ago.
Ore Community Land Trust, Ore Centre, 455 Old London Road, Hastings, TN35 5BH