Combe Valley Countryside Park is a joint project between Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council.
New name, new era
The Pebsham Countryside Park Project is now known as Combe Valley Countryside Park. Following community feedback this new all embracing name was chosen to reflect the wider area.
Combe Valley Countryside Park now has it’s own dedicated website – www.combevalleycountrysidepark.com
Combe Valley Countryside Park
The Countryside Park was first mooted in 1993 as part of the North Bexhill Strategic Framework. It emanated from the ‘strategic gap’ planning policies so as to provide a greenspace between Hastings and Bexhill.
However it was not until 2003 that the Pebsham Countryside Park Project Steering Group was set up to mastermind the restoration of the landfill areas and to manage to countryside between the towns. The Steering Group was formed of representatives from the three Councils Rother, Hastings, and East Sussex.
With the use of funding from a S106 Obligation from Southern Water and the INTERREG III ‘Access for All’ project the Steering Group were able to undertake a major public consultation in 2005, prepare a development strategy and carry out works to footpaths etc.
In 2008 the Pebsham Countryside Park Project Management Board was formed comprising representatives from Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and Crowhurst Parish Council.
In 2012 the Management Board renamed the park Combe Valley Countryside Park following feedback from the public that the name Pebsham did not reflect the full extent of the greenspace within the Combe Haven area. The proposed Countryside Park covers an area of 600 hectares within Rother District and Hastings Borough.
The southern part adjoining Bulverhythe contains a landfill site, a waste transfer station, a household waste site and a waste water treatment works. The northern area comprises the Combe Haven valley SSSI and reed beds.
The intention is that the project will create a significant green space between the two towns and that the restored landfill site and adjoining land will be able to be used for recreational purposes.
On the north eastern side of Bexhill a town expansion is proposed with around 1,200 dwellings and 500,000 square feet of employment space. The Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, when constructed, will link central Bexhill with Queensway and will also provide a greenway between the two towns for use by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
The Countryside Park is a long term project which will address the deficiency in green space for the towns of Hastings and Bexhill. The Park will serve an immediate population of 22,500 people and an overall urban population of 130,000 persons. It will provide an opportunity for active recreation, walking, cycling, equestrianism, bird watching, nature studies etc.