Lewes District Council Has Cancelled New Homes Plans for Seaford Buckle Car Park

Last year residents of Seaford learned that Lewes District Council proposed to hand over the much-used Buckle car park to a housing developer who planned to build luxury flats there.

Local Concern

Some of us wrote to express our concern at the loss of parking and recycling facilities, as well as the only toilets near that end of the beach.

Lewes Council Has Abandoned this Proposal

An extraordinary meeting of Lewes District Council was called for Wednesday 17th February.

At this meeting the Council agreed to terminate their plans for this development.  This recommendation can be seen near the top of page 3 of the meeting agenda.

Saving Face

In a classic face-saving statement, they suggest the reason for terminating the proposal is due to “non-satisfaction of the title and ground conditions on key sites”.

Consumer Lookout would respectfully suggest that the unsuitability of this development is more likely to have become apparent when Seaford Town Council, Seaford Residents’ Voice, political group Independents for Seaford and many local residents campaigned, signed petitions, and wrote letters or emails to express their concern.

Wasted Tax Payers’ Money

They go on to say that this became “apparent during the course of due diligence”.

If Lewes District Council had exercised due diligence, then the agreements with Karis Developments Limited and the Southern Housing Group would not have been signed in the first place.

Nobody locally is objecting to affordable homes – we desperately need them.  But Lewes District Council staff need to do their jobs properly and find suitable sites agreed in consultation with local residents that are suitable for development into housing, rather than trying to deprive us of important and well-used local amenities.

Cost of Cancellation

The council has suggested that about half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money was lost due to the cancellation of this scheme.  Others suggest that the true figure may be nearer to £1 million.

According to a recent article in The Argus, these costs could rise as high as to £15 million [Warning: advertising on the Argus article has a dodgy practice of taking over your computer speakers and blasting sound out at you!]