‘Withdraw plans for white elephant’

FOLLOWING a storm of objections to their controversial plans for a two-storey cliff-top golf clubhouse and function rooms, Seaford Town Council has asked for the planning hearing to be delayed to March 16.

Apparently this is to give the council time to appoint a planning consultant to counter the objections – so presumably using yet more public money to counter the views of the very people they are supposed to represent!

Even more embarrassing for Seaford Town Council is that South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has objected to their plans in the strongest terms, stating: ‘The proposed development is not considered acceptable in terms of scale, massing and bulk, especially given the higher more prominent siting’.

It is not felt a two storey building is appropriate here, in this largely open site which forms part of the Sussex Heritage Coastline and the South Downs National Park.

The potential landscape impacts are considered too adverse in this sensitive setting. Whilst a new building may be possible in an alternative location, the design would need to be more modest in size and perhaps situated within the existing building footprint.’

Unfortunately, the SDNPA’s planning powers do not come into operation until April 1, so the timing of Seaford Town Council’s application is fortuitous indeed!

Morally, as the clubhouse will be in the National Park, STC should abide by the their views and have sought them earlier.

So now, having heard the concerns from Seaford residents, walkers and visitors to Seaford Head, plus the SDNPA, will Seaford Town Council have the humility to withdraw plans for this expensive and unnecessary white elephant before they damage Seaford Head irreparably?

Ian Cairns

Gerald Road