There should be full public disclosure of plans for Seaford Health Hub

Letters to the editor - Council clashes with campaginers over Aylesbury Vale local plan
Letters to the editor - Council clashes with campaginers over Aylesbury Vale local plan

Linda Parker identified concerns about the proposed Seaford Health Hub with which I agree completely.

However, there are also at least two concerns about the processes involved with the development of the plan that will impact on the validity of any consultation in relation to a planning application.

Land and buildings at The Downs were transferred to Seaford Urban District Council in 1965 partly through purchase and partly through gifts.

The conveyance documents make it clear that the purpose of the acquisitions was to provide “public walks and pleasure gardens”.

It may be the case that the restrictive covenants have lapsed as legal documents, but it is quite clear that the intention was to provide public open space and that the gifts were to the people of Seaford (in the form of SUDC) – not Lewes District Council.

At the very least there was and is a moral obligation on LDC to consult – not simply inform – Seaford Town Council.

When it comes to considering the merits of any planning application, there should be full disclosure of the background to the land ownership and clear identification of the mitigation for loss of amenity: ie replacement of lost playing surfaces should be part of the plan and not subject to a wait for the District Review.

Secondly, the financial arrangements to fund the proposal were passed with little public awareness, only shortly after the first publicity release, and with very little opportunity for public comment.

As approved, the funding relies on the building of the housing units and the convenience store and therefore it is unclear to what extent it will be possible to separate consideration of the Health Hub from the other buildings.

In short, any consideration of a planning application appears to be set in a predetermined context.

Roy Bellingham

Downs View Road

Seaford