Government passed Beachcomber plan

THE Gazette of August 17 included two letters about the recent decision to grant planning permission for a sheltered housing development on the Beachcomber site in Seaford.

One of the letters, from Barbara Jephcote, is rather confused about the role of Lewes District Council (LDC) in the case and I wanted to put the record straight for your readers.

In fact, Lewes District Council refused planning permission for the development. The applicants, McCarthy and Stone, appealed against this decision to the Secretary of State.

After a hard-fought public hearing in front of a government inspector, the Secretary of State decided to grant planning permission on appeal.

LDC strongly regret this decision which we think will introduce a large and unattractive new building to a prominent seafront site.

I have some sympathy with the view that Seaford is the forgotten town of the district and it is my administration’s wish to change that perception during our term.

The other letter, from my colleague Cllr Sam Adeniji, looks ahead to the reforms to the planning system coming through in the new Localism Bill, now passing through Parliament.

This will put the onus on local people to prepare neighbourhood plans and set out a clear vision for how they want their towns and villages to develop in future.

We are looking forward to working with Seaford Town Council, and local people, on a neighbourhood plan for the town. A key issue there will be the future of the seafront in Seaford.

Cllr Tony Nicholson

Leader, Lewes District Council