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HS/FA/18/01009 | Proposed extensions and refurbishments to main amusement building including raised roof to accommodate additional floor. Increased height and footprint of raised huts behind the main building. Proposed alterations to park and rides, including demolition of existing ghost train building and erection of replacement. Proposed new formalised and landscaped pedestrian footpath from adjacent to shelter to beach front access and enlargement of amusement park to incorporate land where current footpath is located. Proposed new boathouse and jetty. | The Stade Family Amusement Park, The Stade, Hastings, TN34 3AR
  • Total Consulted: 1
  • Comments Received: 16
  • Objections: 15
  • Supporting: 0
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Mr Bernard McGinley

Comment submitted date: Mon 03 Dec 2018

Please see documents tab.

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

Proposed extensions and refurbishments to Stade Amusement Park

I object to these proposals for reasons many others have stated, including numerous losses of amenity.  There is also the procedural problem of the supine behaviour of the Foreshore Trust regarding the interference in a de facto right of way.

If they agree with this planning application, the Trust should say so and explain why - for the sake of accountability.

If they disagree, then ditto.

What is not acceptable is for them (the Trust), or the 'Protector', or the Council-as-Trustee, to stay mute and pretend there is no matter of public concern here.  There is, and explanations are overdue.

The Foreshore Trust AGM is on Monday 24 September at 6:30 at Muriel Matters House - and yet the agenda does not mention this planning matter.  Bromides claiming that 

The Trust continues to concentrate efforts on ensuring a secure and viable future for the Trust, especially in terms of maintaining and improving its assets, managing its available resources for the long term benefit of the community . . .

are not credible when the pathway is being treated in this way.  The proposed substitute path is a major disimprovement.

The charitable objects of the Hastings & St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust include:
1) TO HOLD AND MAINTAIN THE CHARITY'S LAND . . . FOR THE COMMON USE, BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF ALL HER MAJESTY'S SUBJECTS AND OF THE PUBLIC FOR THE TIME BEING FOR EVER.

Consent to this application would be incompatible with that, and so you must refuse it.

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

Please see documents tab

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

Please see documents tab

Comment submitted date: Thu 20 Dec 2018

Dear HBC Planning Services:  thanks for the additional documents about the approved extension of the Stade amusement park in 2000.  It is surprising however that eight objection comments are not there, that were once electronically available.  This includes the petition mentioned in the Committee Report for case HS/FA/00/00386.  HBC is know for its rigour concerning petitions, yet here is a situation where you have lost one.  The basis of the petition is now not publicly known, nor its size, nor its organiser.  The objection comments are also missing.  This is planning recordkeeping of low quality, and there are other cases.
 
The Committee Report (September 2000) describes the Stade amusement park as 'Council land'.  The then-Foreshore Trust did not comment on the case.
 
On page 3 of the Committee Report, the Head of Planning acknowledges 
the concerns about the creeping expansion of the operation the size of the site limits any significant increase.  [sic]
 
Now the size of the site is to be significantly increased if either of the applications HS/FA/17/01056 or HS/FA/18/01009 succeeds.  A site the equivalent of nearly 40 yards square (not 40 square yards) is proposed for transfer, with as little publicity as possible.  The concerns of 2000 are much greater now, especially if Permitted Development Rights are also conceded, though the Stade is in a Conservation Area.
 
The mistakes of the past are one thing, but the Council ought to defend public assets, and be seen to.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bernard McGinley

Comment submitted date: Tue 22 Jan 2019

Dear HBC: this is an objection to the new application form and application.



Section 8 asks the following:

Do the proposals require any diversions/extinguishments and/or creation of rights of way?



The answer given is No. This is untrue (but not because of the rights of way matter, which is a separate disgrace). Many objections have been made on the New Footpath aspect of the application - so it is strange that the new application gives this answer. It is false.



The statement in Section 20 to the effect that there are to be no commercial processes or machinery is also false. Fairground machinery is commercial machinery, and new attractions are proposed.



Worse, in Section 24, the Owner of the site is stated as



Hastings Borough Council as trustee of the Hastings & St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust



This is also stated on the Council's website - but it is somewhat, even strikingly, at odds with the statement by the Foreshore Trust's Protector (Mr May, in October 2018) that



The Foreshore Trust is legally quite separate from the Council as a local government entity, despite the fact that HBC is its sole Trustee. This means that the three Councillors that constitute the Charity Committee of HBC (ie the individuals who actually exercise the powers of the sole Trustee) need to be formally advised on an individual basis by Planning of any request for permission affecting Foreshore Trust land.



Yes HBC own the Foreshore. What do the three human Trustees think, who just happen to be the entire HBC Charity Committee? What is their view on the proposed transfer of Foreshore Trust land - equivalent to nearly 40 yards square - from the present pathway (hence the diversions/extinguishments mentioned above) to the amusement park? It has nowhere been mentioned, explained or defended since the application of 2017.



None of this is not remotely good enough. Refuse this application, or explain why Foreshore Trust assets should be given away.

Comment submitted date: Thu 28 Feb 2019

Please see documents tab.

Mrs Anne Scott Old Hastings Preservation Society

Comment submitted date: Mon 10 Dec 2018

We wish to object to this planning application.

We object to the restriction placed on what has been a public walkway through and around the open area of this site by these proposals. Following an application for this to be designated a Right of Way in 1997 it was adjudicated in 2010 that because the land was owned by the Foreshore Trust the public 'by Right' could walk over it and therefore a designated Right of Way was not necessary.



Previous reports on applications for this site and also the Inspectors report when an appeal by the applicant was dismissed in 2004 are pertinent to this application, as I have sent in February.

The open space area of the site only functions during the summer months and out of season it is important that this open area is able to be enjoyed by residents and visitors, to this end the planting and maintenance is important. poor surfacing, fencing and closed buildings do nothing for the area and there is no reason to add to them. The landscaping and planting are poorly maintained and the paving from north to south has never been enhanced as I believe was in his original lease agreement. The open area functions as a park for residents and visitors all year round and this is treasured.



The proposed alterations to the buildings on the eastern side of the boating lake appear to be combined under two roofs as opposed to five existing. Thus the current visual impact of these buildings which is broken up and less obtrusive will be lost, this is detrimental to the views of it from the West Hill. The replacement two storey dodgems and ghost train shed will be taller than existing and the height of the shop area has increased resulting with a further loss of view and loss of the effect of the gable which currently points above the main roof level. There is also a large extension to the building at the seaward end which will impact on the views of the site. None of these make a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area.



Most importantly the pathway to the beach has been channelled down to an unacceptable narrowness. To gate or fence it is also unacceptable. The wide existing path takes many walkers, buggies and wheelchairs at one time and these will not be accommodated with the narrow replacement. If the site is to remain unenclosed which we trust it will, such a path would not be user friendly at night and during the quieter times of the day and year.



I attach below 2 relevant extracts the first from a previous planning report on the site in 2002, the second from a Planning Inspectors report of 2004 which dismissed an appeal by the applicant.



This proposal is detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area and the amenity of those who have over many years and do currently use these paths, to walk to the beach and around the lake into town by rights conferred by the 1893 Deed.



HBC planners 2002

This particular open gap provides welcome relief from the more intensive and substantial buildings toward the east. To this end proposals for substantial rides and other structures have been resisted in the past.'

'The views over the Old Town and the Stade are of critical importance in terms of:

1 an awareness of a sense of place and cultural identity

2 townscape conservation

3 tourism offer and orientation'

' Policy C1 within conservation areas....

Trees, gardens, spaces, between buildings, related spaces and particularly parks and gardens in conservation areas which contribute to the character of the area should not be lost.'



The extension of the fairground westwards would adversely change the relationship and historical context between the Old Town and beach.'



Inspector 2004

'I saw that the boating lake is within an essentially open part of the Stade Family Amusement Park with small rides on the eastern side of the lake but separated from the fenced area that accommodates more fairground type rides by a generous pedestrian path. In my opinion the open undeveloped appearance of the larger part of the lake and surroundings provides an open aspect to and from the Old Town.'

'I consider that the proposed safety railings would create a perceived barrier around the lake and thereby unacceptably reduce the openness of the area.'

Comment submitted date: Mon 31 Dec 2018

Please see documents tab

Comment submitted date: Thu 24 Jan 2019

We most strongly object to the proposed new fence line along the boating lake as indicated on the drawing registered on 19th January.



We feel this is a blatant attempt to further increase the enclosed amusement park area to include the boating lake thus being able to fill in even more of this historic feature than has been done to date.



Anne Scott

Comment submitted date: Sat 09 Feb 2019

We object to the new fencing round the boating lake as shown on the "Block plan indicating new fence line". This will block the existing access to the beach and Stade to the East where the new footpath layout is canted to the west. This will also add to the increase of the enclosed amusement park to which we also object.



We could find no description of this fencing included in this application.



The Buildings of England Series -Sussex [1965] and East Sussex [2012] comments on the adverse effect of the amusement park as follows: The Seaside Perambulation after passing the former Marine Palace of Varieties [the de Luxe] states "After that the much more irregular houses of the fishing harbour, monstrously deprived of all their atmosphere by the Playland in front."



The 2012 edition by Pevsner and the late Nick Antram has the following comment on the affect on the conservation area of the Amusement park -"Eventually the ephemeral detritus of the seafront amusements which monstrously deprive the houses of all their atmosphere gives way to the fishing beach." Nick Antram knew Hastings well as the English Heritage Inspector who worked with the then council and community on the Conservation Area Partnership Scheme.



Because the seafront bends from several vantage points both sides of the road merge so the streetscape is read as one, having impact on the character of the Conservation Area which is not so evident looking first at one side of the road and then the other. It is the impact at a distance from both approaches that detracts from the historic character of the north side of the seafront.



The increased height and uniformity of the proposed amendments to the existing buildings and the potential for tall rides and attractions should be resisted. We therefore feel it is important to maintain the enclosed area at its current limits and not allow any increase with resulting loss of planning control and the potential for greater damage to the character of the Conservation area.



We would like to know when the change of policy evident in the Officer's report on the previous application for this development regarding westward expansion was agreed. What public consultation was held on this change in the management of the Old Town Conservation Area?



Anne Scott

Comment submitted date: Sat 09 Feb 2019

We wish all our previous objections and the petition submitted for application 17/1056 to be considered on application 18/1009 as the elements in our previous objections apply equally to the new application.



Anne Scott

Mr Trevo Parsons

Comment submitted date: Fri 08 Feb 2019

I am a frequent (more than monthly) visitor to Hastings.



Part of what attracts me to the town is the variety that's here. Although what's offered by the amusement park isn't my personal cup of tea, I see it as part of the rich and varied tapestry of Hastings, and as long as it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the town, and especially of the feeling of openness and accessibility which is one of the joys of the sea front, I'm happy that it's there for other visitors and residents to enjoy.



While I agree with many of the other grounds for objection raised by others who have commented, my comments concentrate on amplifying and perhaps extending the basis for objection to the proposed loss of the current north-south path.



The current path is broad and straight. Its sight lines along its length are perfectly uninterrupted.



Spatial analysis by pedestrian movement experts such as Space Syntax has shown that straight alignments, along which people can see a long way, are far more likely to be used than indirect alignments with short sightlines. To put it in a nutshell, the further you can see along a path, the more likely you are to use it. Oxford Street is the classic example.



The current path feels to its users like a broad, almost street-like, space which clearly connects two places -- the main road and the beach. The street-like nature is enhanced by the straight alignment and by the definition provided to its eastern side by buildings with pitched roofs. The sense of connectivity to those approaching from the north is assured by the sight of boats. In this respect it is even more attractive than the comparable north-south path and roadway which runs past Stade Hall to the east, where the view from the north is of the lifeboat station and huts only.



The excellent pedestrian permeability of the current path is complemented by the proximity of the signalised pedestrian crossing of East Parade, and beyond that by the unusually rich pedestrian permeability on the north side linking to West Street via Cutter Lane, Sun Lane and Shell Lane, and by further connections to George Street. If anything the corresponding permeability to the south of East Parade should be enhanced, not reduced and weakened as would be the case if the application is approved.



The southern end of the current path intersects pleasingly, at a wide crossing of the miniature railway, with the National Cycle Network walking and cycling path and the parallel path north of the railway. This intersection offers a clear choice of onward routes to pedestrians arriving at it from all directions. This pleasant intersection would be much impoverished by the removal of the northward route.



The proposed replacement path, with an alignment which is almost always curving, would have short sightlines, almost all of which would end in buildings or planting, and would therefore be likely to experience significantly lower pedestrian footfall, not only in "through" pedestrian traffic between East Parade and the beach but also, ironically, in footfall which would be commercially useful to the applicant.



It seems to me from the comments made by the Foreshore Trust that its members have not fully appreciated the effect of the proposal. Cllr Beaney writes that "the footpath should be kept as straight as possible to allow users to be able to see from one end to the other". This stipulation by the Foreshore Trust is far from being met by the curving replacement path which is proposed.



The absence of visualisations of how the replacement path and its surroundings would appear from the north and south aspects makes it very difficult for the Foreshore Trust, the planning committee and others considering this application to make a proper assessment of the impact.



Working from the overhead plans, my assessment is that someone standing on the footway of East Parade looking south towards the beginning of the proposed replacement path would see no further than about ten or fifteen metres before a visual interruption, where currently they are able to see some 70 metres along the path itself and far beyond to the sea.



From the south a similarly restricted view would be offered by the proposed replacement path, where currently someone standing at the aforementioned pleasing pedestrian intersection has the benefit of a reassuringly long view towards the buildings of East Parade to the north, as well as to east and west. This would be replaced by the view of a fence.



Both north and south aspects would be uninviting and create uncertainty. Even softened by the promised planting, they would be more like entrances to a maze than to a pedestrian thoroughfare.



If someone was brave enough to enter the path nevertheless, the length of views within it would never exceed 20 metres, and they would not be able to see the beach or the buildings of East Parade until they were very close to the respective ends of the path. At night it would feel like a mugger's alley.



I would therefore urge councillors to reject this application. The excellent current path is far to good to trade for a poor substitute and an uncertain economic gain.

Ms Annie Prime

Comment submitted date: Thu 07 Feb 2019

I object to this application and would like to echo the opinions of previous objectors. Increased amusement building, including a second floor, will disrupt the public walkway, disrupt views of the sea and free enjoyment of the beach which is the right of all residents and visitors to the town, all for private gain.



This area is already over-built and under-used. Tourists don't want tacky amusements, they want to enjoy the beautiful coastline. This is contrary to the charm of the Old Town, and rather than attract visitors, it will alienate them, harming the town as a whole.

Miss Eileen Swift

Comment submitted date: Wed 06 Feb 2019

I strongly object to 2 parts of this planning application.



Firstly, any increase in height of the buildings will further obstruct sea views therefore having a negative effect on my enjoyment of the Foreshore.



Secondly, I disagree with the removal of the footpath. My understanding is that the public has a right to use this footpath therefore removing it is not in the public interest.

Mrs Erica Barrett

Comment submitted date: Fri 21 Dec 2018

If allowed, this plan will remove a long-used public walkway through and around the Amusements area; a right enshrined as a 'right to walk' for the public in 2010 by adjudication.

The path to the beach looks unacceptably narrow; what is now a very busy pathway used by family groups, elderly walkers, buggies and wheelchairs simultaneously will become an almost single-file route, so not user-friendly and certainly weighted against disabled users. It will be impossible for walkers/buggy-pushers/wheelchair and mobility scooters to pass when travelling in either the same or opposite directions without embarrassment.

It is clear that what is left after years of 'nibbling away' of the boating lake will shrink yet further with the installation of the proposed new landing stage. With or without boats, this pool of water is an attractive and integral part of the seafront landscape, reflecting as it does, the Old Town buildings and cliff-sides and the skyscape.

There can be no justification for yet another ['boathouse'] cafe here: there are already too many food outlets in this area. Yet another would not only make bad business sense, but can only increase the perpetual litter and consequent vermin problems.

The proposed alterations to the present buildings and those for the replacement buildings, especially regarding roof heights, would be detrimental to the view.

This application in its entirety is detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area (one of the country's most renowned coastal townscapes) and to locals and tourists who have over many years used this area and its pathways, unhindered, to walk to the beach and around the lake and into town by rights conferred by the 1893 Deed.

As HBC is considering applying to UNESCO for a 'World Heritage Site' designation, it seems short-sighted to permit the destruction of an integral part of Hastings' heritage by permitting these plans to be realised.

Mrs Kathe Deutsch

Comment submitted date: Wed 12 Dec 2018

I object to the revised scheme which is almost identical to the last. There is a confusion in the application. The path is owned by the Foreshore Trust. It is not the applicant's place to change,narrow or diversify the path. The supporting letter from the Chair of the Foreshore Trust, Sue Beaney is mis-informed. The application for improving the site is one matter, the attempt to change the path is quite another matter. Why cannot HBC and the Chair of the Foreshore Trust take this on board?



Kathe Deutsch

Comment submitted date: Tue 18 Dec 2018

We are writing in reference to the latest application to Hastings Borough Council Planning by Stade Amusements, and your published response as Chair of the Foreshore Trust.At present the amusements/funfair and the boating lake are in two sections. The wide path runs between the site and is owned by the Foreshore Trust. In your response to the planning application you raise no objection to the plans and to the re-siting of the path.There is a contradiction here that has ramifications for the Foreshore Trust. There is nothing wrong with the plans to upgrade the site. On our last visit the site looked pretty sad and it is not in a fit state for tourists or the town of Hastings. But - if you agree to the re-siting of the footpath, you are essentially saying firstly, that the site is a single site and is enclosed, which it is not. Secondly, if you agree to the repositioning of the footpath, you are handing over land that belongs to the Foreshore Trust and allowing the Lessee to use it free of charge.Also, if you agree to the Lessee being able to expand the premises, there are noise problems that in a residential area would need to be addressed. Compressors that operate rides make a lot of noise, and the Old Town would suffer.The responsibility of the Foreshore Trust is to the Trust, independent of Hastings Borough Council. If you agree to the re-siting of the path, it first of all signals that the site is enclosed, whatever you claim about the path remaining open. Enclosure means that the Foreshore Trust and HBC lose control of the land. Secondly, if the funfair expands and the path is altered, then a new lease and further payments must be negotiated or potential revenue is lost to the Trust.For example, you own a leasehold flat and you take over the corridor and stairs outside the flat. The freeholder would object strongly. No-one in their right mind would agree to this, unless of course you were going to charge. The Foreshore Trust is in this case the freeholder, and the Trust is prepared to sanction an unacceptable situation.

Mrs Patricia Stephenson

Comment submitted date: Wed 12 Dec 2018

I strongly object to this latest application which is virtually identical to the previous application HS/FA/17/01056.
Advice from the Conservation Officer has been ignored. Comments concerning the previous commentators objections sould be taken into account with this new application. The council should make it very clear to previous objectors that their comments will have to be submitted again if they wish to object to this latest application. The planning department is failing in their duty to apply all democractic right to residents. The previous application remains on the council website and invites comments. How bizarre is this...are there now two applications running in tandem?

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

I wish to object to this application. This amusement park is already a blot on the Old Town landscape - any further additions will only add to the decline of this historic area. It is interesting to note the Foreshore Trust has no comments to make. They should be compelled to comment on this application and any applications which impact on the foreshore or immediate surroundings. If they do not decide to make comment, one has to ask what is the role?I thought the Foreshore Trust was there to protect the Foreshore - seems my understanding is incorrect. As for the officers who support this application - are they not aware that by supporting this unacceptable application they are in effect denouncing their own decision to refuse the earlier application to close off the public right of way and the other issues this company wishes to pursue. How bizarre is this!

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

What is the role of the Foreshore Trust? Why have they not been consulted on this application?
It is inconceivable that this Charitable Trust has remained silent whilst so many objections have been received on this application.
This Trust is pivotal to protecting our Foreshore and now we are hearing nothing from them. Why is this? This is completely unacceptable and the role of the Trust needs close scrutiny.

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

It is custom and practice for the planners to declare all Consultees on the planning website documents.
There is nothing displayed on these documents to suggest the Foreshore Trust was an official consultee.
The Forehore Trust as landowner has a statutory obligation to make comment on this application.
We have a situation where the Trust claims it was not consulted whilst Hastings Borough Council and the applicant claim the Foreshore trust was consulted.
These conflicting statements alone are sufficient for the entire application to be scrapped with investigations into procedural issues.
This application has been administered in a tawdry fashion and it is alarming to think the planning department are of the opinion that everything has been processed correctly.

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

I write yet again about planning application HS/FA/17/01056.There are very grave concerns that due procedures have not been followed and for the reasons set out in this communication this application must be withdrawn from the Agenda  at next week's planning committee meeting whilst legal and procedural issues are investigated. The Foreshore Trust are under a duty to respond to the LPA within a set deadline and provide a substantive response to the application in question.The Foreshore Trust  has NOT been properly consulted in an official capacity, and  we have the Chair of the Trust logging her personal comments on the planning website with no referral to her capacity as Chair of the Foreshore Trust. This is most irregular and represents a serious conflict of interest.Despite the Coastal Users Group voicing a strong objection to this planning application there is no evidence that the Trust has made any response to the Coastal Users Group. The Articles within the Constitution of the Trust state that "The Trustee is required to have regard to the recommendations of the Group (The Coastal Users Group).Cllr. Sue Beaney has supported the application. Why was her comment made without any supportive declaration from the other Trustees of the Foreshore Trust?Her personal request for a condition to ensure the path is always open and not gated is ignored. Without this condition the pathway could be enclosed at either end to the detriment of  public enjoyment of the area.  The entire approach to this issue has been shoddy and without thought for the consequences to the general public.Why was Cllr. Beaney's comment made without any supportive declaration from the other Trustees of the Foreshore Trust? The Articles which make up the Constitution of the Trust state that "The Trustee is required to have regard to the recommendations of the Group (The Coastal Users Group).Where is the official documentation which illustrates the Foreshore Trusts views on this matter. Has Cllr. Sue Beaney received the approval of her fellow Trustees for her comments? If so, where is the documentation which confirms this. An urgent response is requested.

Comment submitted date: Mon 17 Dec 2018

Please see documents tab.

Mrs Judith Monk

Comment submitted date: Fri 14 Dec 2018

I object to the scale of this proposal and the abstracting of Foreshore Trust land to further enlarge this project. The existing use has been allowed to degrade until most of it is in an ugly state not in keeping with the area's ancient and culturally important appearance. I realise it has been sold recently at a great loss to the council coffers but it still should be made presentable. When there was a ferris wheel height ride here before it was a distraction to drivers travelling East along the seafront. Putting the building even higher will create more eyeline distraction for drivers. Abstracting land currently under the council protection should not be allowed or what validity has council protection? Perhaps the current owners could be on notice to improve the current eyesore before asking for more.

Dr M Hunter

Comment submitted date: Thu 13 Dec 2018

The new application echoes the existing one (HS/FA/17/01056) in its plan to reroute and narrow the pathway north-south across the site. I object to this. Let me reiterate the reasons why the pathway should be left as it is:
1. It is important that those standing at either end of the pathway should have an open view across the site. A serpentine pathway as proposed, of which neither end will be visible from the other, will make people feel insecure. The proposed 'planting' with shrubs will only makes things worse.
2. The pathway should also be wide enough to accommodate the heavy traffic of pedestrians, prams, buggies, etc. that it receives in the summer months. What is currently proposed is unacceptably narrow.
3. A further consideration is of emergency access in the event of an accident occurring in the amusement park. The current pathway is wide enough to accommodate emergency vehicles. The proposed alternative is definitely not.
4. I am also concerned that the changed route of the path will allow the enclosed area to be significantly extended, meaning that noisy and intrusive rides will be located further west than hitherto. These will have an undesirable impact on the Old Town Conservation Area (it should be noted that the increased massing that is proposed for the buildings on the site is objectionable for the same reason).
The public enjoy access to the current pathway 'by right' under the Foreshore Trust of 1893. It is a public amenity, enjoyed by local residents as well as by clients of the Stade Amusement Park. I object both to the proposed change in the route of the path, and to its significant narrowing. The application offers no good reason why it should not be left as it is.

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