On 11 September 2015, SeaChange submitted a planning application for the North Bexhill Access Road. There is no date yet for the application to be considered by Rother District Council’s planning committee, but according to government guidance, major planning applications should be determined within 13 weeks, although this can be extended to 26 weeks. Rother District Council’s planning website states that the NBAR application will be decided by 1 January 2016. Continue reading
Not content with the empty business parks they already have, the new one under construction at the Bexhill end of the Link Road, and the one they would love to build over the top of Hollington Valley (if they can get over their little local difficulty with planning permission), SeaChange is putting forward proposals for yet another road, providing access to yet another business park. Continue reading
In November 2018 we reported that SeaChange had asked the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to reschedule – for the second time – the £7m Growing Places Fund loan they had taken out to build new offices at Havelock Place in Hastings town centre. Now, whilst still waiting to hear if the loan would be rescheduled, SeaChange have suddenly sold the site. Continue reading
5 June 2018
Photo: Havelock Place http://seachangesussex.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/P4243736.jpg
Contact 07565 967 250
Questions asked over SeaChange Sussex giving year’s free rent to DWP for Hastings town centre offices
Why did SeaChange offer ‘sweetener’ worth hundreds of thousands of pounds?
A document uncovered by local campaign group Seachangewatch  has revealed that local ‘economic development’ company SeaChange Sussex has given the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) a year’s free rent on its Havelock Place offices in Hastings town centre.
The offices, on Havelock Road, were completed in March 2015 and were supposed to create 440 jobs . But over two years after completion, only one tenant had been found, occupying just 16% of the space and creating just 12 jobs .
In January 2018, SeaChange Sussex announced  that the DWP had agreed to rent Havelock Place, as well as Lacuna Place, SeaChange’s other office site in the town centre. The announcement said that the DWP would be moving its staff from their current base in Ashdown House in the north of Hastings. Seachangewatch believes that no new jobs are to be created by the move.
A document  from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership about the development states that, ‘There is a 1 year rent free period as part of the deal and therefore risk of insufficient income to meet full 18/19 repayment.’
The £7m offices were funded by the Growing Places fund . Comparisons with other offices available to rent locally suggest that SeaChange has forfeited at least £400k in rent  by giving the DWP a year rent-free. Earlier this year, it was announced that SeaChange would be taking £2m from its reserves to pay for overspends on the Queensway Gateway Road and North Bexhill Access Road .
Seachangewatch spokesperson Andrea Needham said: “SeaChange spent £7m of public money on these offices, which they were then unable to rent. Now that they finally have rented them – although creating twelve jobs rather than the hundreds we were promised – we learn that the deal with the DWP included a year’s free rent, worth at least £400k. We would like to know why this deal was made, particularly at a time when SeaChange has serious financial problems in terms of funding its road projects locally. This latest fiasco suggests that SeaChange Sussex’s financial management leaves a great deal to be desired.”
 http://seachangesussex.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/havelock-place-%C2%A37m-page-001.jpg – see ‘Priory Quarter phase 3’
Seachange Sussex have finally let their Hastings town centre offices – but have given the occupiers a year’s free rent.
In January 2018, Seachange Sussex announced that they had let their Havelock Road offices. These £7m offices, in Hastings town centre, had been virtually unoccupied for two years so Seachange must have breathed a big sigh of relief when the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed to let them. Continue reading