Traffic fears for new Seaford library plan

CONCERNS over parking problems and traffic that could arise from a new library for Seaford were highlighted during discussions about the proposal last week.

The multi-million pound scheme includes demolishing the current facility in Sutton Park Road and creating a three-storey building comprising the new library along with adult social care day centre, nine supported flats and one staff flat at the site.

Elizabeth Woodruff, the new chairman of the Friends of Seaford Library, told the Planning & Highways Committee of Seaford Town Council last Thursday that the organisation had spent 11 years campaigning for a new library for the people of Seaford and hoped the plans would go ahead without delay.

But John Burns, vice chairman of Seaford Seniors’ Forum, said while the group did not have anything against the new library there were concerns over what the build would mean for Homefield Place, a county adult social care facility.

If the application, submitted by East Sussex County Council, gets the go-ahead it will see facilities relocated from Homefield Place. Approval has already been given for a temporary library to be built at the town’s former youth centre Elm Court in Blatchington Road.

Mr Burns said, “I’ve been asked by our committee for some time to adjourn a decision until the 27th of this month.

“The reason is we have a meeting with the local MP and the GP Consortium.

“It’s nothing against the new library but the potential of losing Homefield Place.”

Another resident said the traffic flow and parking would be a problem.

The plans had already been discussed by the Planning & Highways Committee at a previous meeting where they welcomed the new library but objected to the design, stating it was out of character and strongly objected to a statement that parking was adequate for visitors and staff. The council was re-consulted and looked at the plans again last week, which had a slightly different design, but councillors still had objections to the look of the build.

Councillor Sarah McStravick, who opened the debate among members, agreed, “I welcome the library but have grave concerns about the parking, the traffic flow and general design at the front of the building.”

Councillor Benjamin Warren said, “The design has not changed much. It’s not going to be the asset that Seaford needs it to be.”

The committee said they were sticking to their previous comments.

The application is set to be discussed by East Sussex County Council today (Wednesday) which will make a final decision on the plans. The meeting will take place at 10.30am at County Hall in Lewes.