Moving the doctors’ surgeries will damage the viability of the town centre

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Cllr Liz Boorman says in her letter (June 14) that the issues regarding moving GPs’ surgeries to an out-of-town ‘health hub’ are ‘being addressed’, but the potential damage to the viability of Seaford’s town centre is not, and cannot be simply wished away.

Lewes District Council’s Core Strategy for Seaford states that by 2030 ‘The retail provision on offer in the town will have been improved, by developments that encourage a rich and diverse mix of shops and other town centre uses’.

It is well known that GP surgeries contribute to the viability of town centres, increasing trade to shops and cafes, so proposing to remove surgeries from the town centre is counter to their own strategy!

Neither was there any meaningful ‘consultation’. Seaford residents first heard of the plans in the council’s District News after a cabinet decision, so even Seaford councillors were not involved.

The subsequent two-day public event was billed as an ‘exhibition’ and presented the decision as a fait accompli, subject only to a future planning application.

In spite of the fact that Seaford residents made about twice as many negative comments as positive ones, the exhibition was inevitably judged a success and the council announced that it would move immediately to detailed design.

Lewes District Council is not responsible for finding accommodation for medical services, so why then is it spending £18,000,000 of our money on building over the sport fields for which it is actually responsible?

Wouldn’t this money be more appropriately spent on expanding sports facilities to meet Seaford’s forecast population increase or finally providing the swimming pool for which Seaford has been waiting for so long?

Ian Cairns

Gerald Road

Seaford