Town's big parking plan scrapped

AN unpopular parking scheme proposed by East Sussex County Council last year is all but dead in the water.

The scheme would have affected a large part of central Seaford but now, just five streets will consult with County Hall about the introduction of parking permits.

They are Blatchington Road, Claremont Road, Guardswell Place, High Street and Warwick Road where residents have expressed interest.

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The hugely unpopular scheme to introduce resident permits and pay and display meters was unveiled in January last year.

So far it has cost 20,000. It was met with fierce opposition from residents and local businesses who feared it would kill the town's trade.

A county council spokesman said: 'We have listened to people's views on parking in Seaford and are no longer looking at a parking scheme covering the entire town centre. However, people in a few streets did express interest in having parking controls.

'We have gone back to consult with those interested and have street meetings with them. We are currently preparing a report on what we have found from these meetings and the survey along the seafront.'

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Seaford's Deputy Mayor, Cllr Tracy Willis, was delighted. She said: 'I welcome this with open arms. We have done and achieved what we wanted to which is stop the parking controls coming to Seaford.

'So many people had very, very grave concerns because of how it would have affected the town. We made sure the town's feelings were listened to and I am very, very pleased with the decision, and I believe it is the right decision. It is nice when things go our way.'

County councillor for the Seaford Sutton ward, Mike Murphy, said: 'There are a very small number of streets asking for permits. The rest of it has largely been scrapped. I am pleased to see the hard work I have done has reduced the size of the scheme significantly.'

The chairman of Seaford Residents' Association, Gail Elhinn, said: 'What people did not want is what has happened in Lewes. Those people considering parking permits wanted a guaranteed space when they got home from work but the permits only last in the daytime so they decided it was not worth the money. It was a large scheme and it has been much pared down.'

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Lyn Kemp, former president of the town's chamber of commerce who campaigned tirelessly to stop the scheme coming to Seaford, was sceptical.

She said: 'If they bring any of the scheme to the town it will just spread. We need to provide a long-term car park for station users. I eagerly await to see where they are going to have parking controls.'