PLANS for a development site with 210 new homes has been approved.

The new 23-acre site in St Leonards is set to deliver 158 homes for private sale and 52 affordable properties through rent or shared ownership after approval by Hastings Borough Council planning committee.

The former Darwell Campus of St Leonards Academy is located south of Crowhurst Road and north of Darwell Close.

Developer Bellway will build a range of one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as providing a multi-use games area and children’s play areas.

Work is due to begin in spring, with the first homes expected to be released for sale in autumn 2022.

Bellway land director Dan Merriman said the team are looking forward to starting work to deliver “much-needed new homes to help meet the area’s housing needs”.

“When formulating these plans, we worked closely with Hastings Borough Council to design a scheme to transform a former brownfield site – a disused school campus – into a new neighbourhood,” he said.

“The vacant site, where the school buildings had already been demolished, features areas of wooded land and is right next door to Dogkennel Wood – a much-loved ancient woodland. We are to deliver a development which is sympathetic in tone and appearance to the surrounding area.

“To this end, we will help the site blend in with the woodland by creating a 15-metre green buffer where the development directly neighbours Dogkennel Wood, as well as planting more than 70 trees, both native and ornamental, and seasonal shrubbery on the green public spaces throughout the development.”

Mr Merriman said Bellway are not only committing to St Leonards by regenerating a brownfield site, but also creating a sustainable new community where nearly a quarter of the new homes are designated as affordable housing.

“These 52 properties will enable local people to live in a top-quality new home while staying in the area to be close to families, friends and work,” he added.

“The 158 private homes, meanwhile, will attract a mix of first-time buyers, couples, downsizers and growing families to help create a vibrant new feel to this area of St Leonards.”