Your March 17 front page lead saying that more green space is to be provided among new housing on the former school site in Seaford had me checking. Had April Fool’s Day arrived early?
Developers have listened during public consultation and decided to leave some 55 per cent of the former Newlands school site as green. They say it will make an attractive place to live, with a playing field open to everyone for recreational use.
Under a mile away, on the North Way housing estate, built in the 1980s, Seaford Council is working assiduously to remove all (yes, all) the green amenity space which has been in place for 30 years. The council says it’s unused and must go to make way for development. Moreover, Seaford residents voted in favour. No matter that a developer was forced under planning legislation to hand the sites to a council in the expectation that in would remain public open space for ever.
Alternative facts have certainly arrived. Public open space, designed to make the place look nice and good to live in, cannot be unused. Just six per cent of households voted, in a botched Seaford consultation, which claimed the North Way sites were worth in total £1m but failed to state whether this took account of disposal costs and what in detail the money would be used for.
If that were not enough, Seaford Council then allows those working up the draft local Neighbourhood Plan to suggest that two of the town’s golf courses, and several other areas, should be earmarked for development.
Where is the consistency in planning? Why aren’t our elected councillors making a fuss? Lewes District has a Core Objective to resist development on green sites. It also has undertakings to protect existing open spaces, create new ones and link them together. Yet Lewes District has just approved the first application from Seaford Council to build on public open space in North Way. How does that sail through planning when there are such commitments to protecting our environment? Come back Lewis Carroll. I prefer your reality!
Firle Road, Seaford