READERS will be interested to know that the latest planning application from McCarthy and Stone to turn the Beachcomber pub/restaurant site at Seaford into sheltered housing for the elderly has been soundly rejected by Lewes District Council.
For all in our local community who very much want to see Seaford prosper and move forward, to rekindle the seaside town of old, this news is of course very welcome and heartening.
Unfortunately, given the amount of time, effort and no doubt money McCarthy and Stone have committed so far to this second attempt to redevelop the site for just a very fortunate few, it is to be anticipated that a formal appeal will be lodged, so it is much too early to claim a victory for common sense and local democracy just yet.
Since the last submission, also soundly rejected, and upheld by the Government Inspector, things have moved along significantly in terms of the seafront and beach environments.
There are now major moves to smarten up the promenade, the Environment Agency is committed to sorting the beach management such that its amenity value is fully taken into account (and not just its flood defence purpose) and a much greater acceptance by the local community and town council that the beach and seafront are potentially Seaford’s greatest assets - as indeed they once were, and not so long ago.
It is very much to be hoped that McCarthy and Stone finally now throw in the towel on the Beachcomber (there are other much more suitable and less exposed sites locally available after all), which should then drive home the point to the owner of the site that really it is time to start looking towards other more suitable uses and prospective developers, such as the hotel and pub/restaurant industries who I am sure would be very interested indeed.