We live in the area Lindfield Avenue/ Fairways of Seaford, where a convenience store in Newick Close used to serve the community until summer 2013, when it was closed down.
This part of Seaford has now no post office, no regular bus service, and now no shopping facilities at all, even though this area covers more than 1,5 square km. Its infrastructure is now more like that of a third class rural district rather than that of a civilized town.
Planning permission has been given to change the use of the former convenience store and to convert it into two semi-detached houses plus possibly, another apartment.
Independent from this conversion there are also at present circulating rumours that a large field nearby (at Chyngton Way) is undergoing planning procedure for a great number of houses (a number of 80 is quoted).
What sort of planning is this? On the one hand an available shop facility is allowed to disappear, but on the other hand there might be - in the near future - a real demand for such a shop - and a Post Office, and a regular bus service to town - by an ever increasing population.
How can we have any confidence in any planning officer who is supposed to be in charge of the situation?
I have been following this department’s attitudes for some years now and have come to the conclusion that planning decisions are simply a matter of money. lf an entrepreneur-builder discovers somewhere a niche in an otherwise built-up area, his plans seem to be rubber-stamped by the department, no matter how people nearby might feel about it.
What can be done to enforce a change to this attitude?
This is not easy and can only he achieved by nationwide action. The reason why councils are so eager to increase the number of house building, even if patently there is no sufficient infrastructure available, lies in the British system of charging a high-cost council tax. Elsewhere in Europe, the equivalent tax is a fraction of the British, because they charge only what really is of concern to the council. Why does our council tax include, for instance, substantial sums for highways, education and police?
In particular, the latter two services are clearly a national matter, directed nationally by ministries.
Like Defence, they ought to be funded entirely by the treasury.
lf, then, our council tax per property would only come to, say £150 per year instead of £1,800, the local planning department would not be under so much profit-motivated pressure to cave in to, what I feel, are greedy builders.
It is high time to put pressure on this system and make it change!
(Mr) G Both