On Thursday 24th November the Club announced to its supporters at a meeting held at The Pilot Field the issues with constant and rising Ground Maintenance costs plus the significant expenditure now required in the next 12/18 months to comply with ground grading.
To protect our Isthmian League status a Ground share Agreement with Eastbourne Borough FC has been signed with the Club relocating for the 2023/24 season.
The Club’s wish to put on record it’s preference would be to remain at The Pilot Field in the short term and not have to move away from Hastings, but there are no alternatives available within the Hastings area, nor are there sufficient pitches to continue with our Academy programme.
We do have a resolution to grant planning consent to relocate to Tilekiln which would solve all the issues we now face.
We do not accept Cllr Barnett’s decision not to proceed with this very worthy scheme and are delighted that there is now a Full Council meeting scheduled for Thursday 15th December and our relocation is on the agenda for discussion.
We have been overwhelmed by the public backing of a petition for our move to Tilekiln with 1848 signatures and counting all asking The Council to support the proposed New Stadium and Development to provide the facilities that Hastings badly needs as well as safeguarding the future of our children so that they have proper playing facilities for many years to come.
If the Council agree on Thursday 15th December that Tilekiln can progress as originally agreed, and confirm they will sign the S106 Agreement which they currently refuse to do, The Club have made a contingency plan that they will submit a planning application in January to erect two stands containing 500 seats to replace the Main Stand seating. This new stand should be in place for the 2023/24 season at Pilot Field subject to a planning consent being issued in a timely manner by the Local Authority to allow these works to be done during the close season.
The cost of the new stands would be absorbed within the Tilekiln development cost and for this reason this cannot be erected without the relocation to follow. When Tilekiln pitches are ready along with the Main Stand the two stands will be relocated to the new site
Regarding redeveloping the Pilot Field there does not seem to be a way of funding such works but does not solve the major issue of more pitches that are required to meet the needs of not only the Academy, development, and disability teams that we run but for the wider Hastings Community.
We hope that at next weeks Council Meeting sense prevails so that HASTINGS UNITED REMAIN IN HASTINGS and thank all our supporters and Friends of Hastings United for their support.
D. Burney | P. Sherlock | B. Wood