SEAFORD: Further debate due on Cuckmere estuary plan

TWO SEAFORD residents are hoping to voice their disappointment over developments for the future of the iconic Cuckmere Estuary at a meeting today (Wednesday).

Dr Jill Rosser, from Seaford, and Tristram Hodgkinson, from Litlington, were at a meeting on June 7 that looked at the community consensus on what people wanted to see happen to the area, with several options to choose from.

The meeting, which was held as part of the Cuckmere Pathfinder Project, came after the Environment Agency announced it would go ahead with its plan to withdraw sea defences.

However, the pair say the conclusion of that meeting – to maintain the existing flood defences in the short term and explore the reactivation of the meanders in the longer term – did not represent the views of residents there.

This outcome was then discussed by East Sussex County Council’s lead cabinet member for economy, transport and environment Carl Maynard at a meeting on July 21.

He recommended the council endorse the consensus reached at the June 7 meeting.

Today, East Sussex County Council’s scrutiny committee will discuss the issue at a public meeting at County Hall in Lewes at 10am,

Dr Rosser said, “It seems that East Sussex County Council will not re-look at the consensus which they are putting forward but part of the brief of the scrutiny committee is to ensure that the consensus going forward is sensible and workable.”

She added that other people also had concerns about the outcome of the June 7 meeting.

A spokesman for ESCC said, “At the public meeting on June 7 the community said they wished to see the defences maintained. They also showed interest in reconnecting the meanders.

“In discussion the meeting concluded that the defences should be maintained while this option is explored.

“The scrutiny committee is being asked to note the views of the community at its meeting on September 14.”