Pledge to reopen kittiwakes’ home in Seaford

Splash Point, Seaford closed off.
Splash Point, Seaford closed off.

Reassurances were offered this week about the future of Seaford beauty spot Splash Point.

Lead councillor for the environment Tony Nicholson said Lewes District Council was doing everything it could to reopen the area safely.

But it said the council had taken the sensible and probably legally necessary decision to fence off the area for safety reasons.

Cllr Nicholson said: “The concerns surround the need to repair the promenade/groyne so that the current fences can be removed.

“The district council has no wish to see access to the area restricted any longer than public safety requires.

“The council took the sensible and probably legally necessary decision to fence the area off for safety reasons.

“Originally the fencing was designed to be low key but repeated vandalism resulted in the need for what we have now.”

Cllr Nicholson said to make the pathway safe we need to ensure the repair of the damaged areas of concrete.

The council is receiving engineers’ reports on the damage and is liaising with other agencies and Seaford Town Council to agree how these repairs can be achieved.

He explained now that the chances of further storms battering the coastline had passed, the council was able to move to the next stage with its partner organisations.

He added: “Your readers may rest assured that we want the area reopened but in doing so we must ensure that repairs commensurate with the task in hand have been carried out and that in so doing the council’s exposure to legal action is minimised.”

A temporary fence was put up to prevent people visiting Splash Point in Seaford after storms left the beauty spot in a dangerous state during February.

The cliffs are home to a colony of kittiwakes, which are a tourist attraction for the town.

The pathway and sea wall at the extreme end of Seaford Promenade at Splash Point have been badly damaged in the storms.

Part of the path has fallen away and the wall beneath has been undermined, said Lewes District Council, describing the area as dangerous.

As a result it has been closed temporarily on safety grounds.

The RSPB said it stopped running kittiwake observation events at Splash Point in 2012 because of access problems and declining visitors.

Earlier this year walkers venturing near the cliffs around Seaford Head were told to be careful after a series of cliff falls in the area, with temporary diversions and warnings signs put up.