The Talland Parade development has been pending since securing planning permission to redevelop in January 2012. The original owner had a number of issues and erected scaffolding twice, the second scaffold is still in situ.
Seaford Town Council’s role
Seaford Town Council is not the planning authority or the building control authority; this is Lewes District Council.
Seaford Town Council is however a voice for the local community and has been in communication with many residents about the lack of progress with the build by the owner and in particular the existing scaffolding which was in situ for several months without any further work taking place.
The Town Council, as well as working with in particular nearby residents, has been in touch with Lewes District Council to ensure every effort is made to force the works to commence. This has involved many phone calls and emails as well as meeting with senior planners from Lewes District Council and the Chief Executive.
The powers that Lewes District Council have are limited and could be more detrimental than positive if used at the wrong time. Accordingly, some caution has been used.
The ownership of the site changed earlier this year. Lewes District Council Planning Officers were in immediate contact with the new owner who said he was attempting to get new builders on site as soon as possible to start work on the project. The scaffolding was therefore still in situ. This was monitored very closely by Lewes District Council and Seaford Town Council.
Unfortunately, after several weeks no progress was made. Lewes District Council therefore served a Section 215 notice on the owners. This required them to remove the scaffolding within 28 days of service. Towards the end of the 28 days the owners submitted an appeal to this notice to The Magistrates Court as is their legal right.
In early July the District Council confirmed that the Magistrates Court had dismissed the appeal due to it having been received outside of the statutory appeal period. The Section 215 notice therefore took effect from 20th April, with one month to comply, expiring on 20th May 2018. Lewes District Council has a duty to act reasonably towards the landowner and in view of the circumstances of the abandoned appeal, it was agreed to extend the compliance period until 31st August.
Subsequently communication remained open between Planning Officers at Lewes District Council and the developer. This resulted in workers appearing on site late in September. They continue to work on site as of the 16th October. Whilst they continue to work the scaffolding is legitimate and can remain in situ.
Seaford Town Council and Lewes District Council continue to monitor works to ensure these are not abandoned again. It is hoped by following this course the building will be improved and developed as planned and will be an asset to the Town Centre rather than the eyesore it is at present.