Councillors at Lewes District Council believe ‘the end is in sight’ for the scaffolding that has scarred Talland Parade in Seaford for so long.
As part of a complex legal process and on the advice of a barrister who is a specialist is this type of dispute, the council is now preparing to take the owners of Talland Parade to the High Court for common law public nuisance and to seek a final injunction that would result in a court order requiring the scaffolding to be removed without delay.
The council has exhausted every other possible legal avenue in their determination to rid Seaford of the scaffolding, but every attempt to date has been blocked by ‘legislative loopholes’ and ‘hollow promises’. It is considered that given the unreasonable duration of the development works at Talland Parade and the adverse impact on Seaford residents and others, that the council now has a good case.
Councillor Stephen Gauntlett, Cabinet Member for Planning, said:
“We have never stopped working with our solicitors and a specialist barrister to find a way through the courts to remove this eyesore and while nothing is guaranteed, I now have hope that the end is in sight.
“I must thank the community champions at Seaford Residents’ Voice for providing evidence showing that despite hollow promises to the contrary from the owners of Talland Parade, work was never underway in any meaningful degree on the site – they, along with Seaford Town Council, have played an invaluable role.”
If the High Court agrees with Lewes District Council that the scaffolding represents a public nuisance, the owners will be required to remove the scaffolding. The council will also seek a reserve power to get the scaffolding removed using its own contractor if the owners do not comply with any order made by the High Court.
Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council, said:
“The government must close the legislative loopholes that developers take advantage of at the expense of local people and businesses. Seaford residents and retailers are the innocent victims in this and it is shameful that the owners have been prepared to prolong this saga for so long.”
Lewes District Council has also been liaising closely with East Sussex County Council, and they have now decided to not renew the scaffolding licence that is required for a structure of this type.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council, said:
“The council believes that the owners have run out of road and that it has a good case to put to the court.
“I’m grateful to all the people of Seaford who have shown great patience and fortitude throughout this process – the conclusion we all want feels closer than ever.”