SCAFFOLDING that has stood over a high street for the past six years has finally been removed after High Court proceedings were instituted against the owner.
Legal action is underway to remove the ‘eyesore’ from Talland Parade in Saxon Lane, Seaford.
Lewes Borough Council is demanding a court order to get rid of the scaffolding that has ‘contaminated’ Seaford High Street since 2016.
The Argus has been told the owners will be tried for public nuisance under the common law.
The case could result in an injunction requiring the scaffolding to be removed immediately.
Councilor Stephen Gauntlett, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “We have never stopped working with our solicitors and a specialist solicitor to find a way through the courts to remove this eyesore and while nothing is guaranteed, I now have hope that the end is reached sight.
“I have to thank the community champions at Seaford Residents’ Voice for providing evidence that despite hollow promises to the contrary by Talland Parade’s owners – they, along with Seaford City Council – there has never been any significant work done on the site , have played an invaluable role.”
Lewes County Council granted planning permission in January 2012 for ten self-contained flats above a range of shops.
The site has remained largely untouched, however, as the scaffolding is causing problems for businesses in the area.
The council said it had exhausted all possible legal avenues but saw any attempt blocked by “legal loopholes” and “hollow promises” by owners.
It believes there is good reason given the length of time development work has taken place at the site and the adverse impact on Seaford residents.
The Argus has previously reported on the frustration of local residents caused by the Talland Parade scaffolding.
If the High Court agrees with Lewes County Council that the scaffolding is a public nuisance then the owners will have to remove it.
The council will also seek a reserve power to have the scaffolding removed using its own contractor if the owners fail to comply with a High Court order.
Businesses under the scaffolding have feared being shut down, saying they feel “invisible” under the massive structure.
Council member Zoe Nicholson, deputy leader of the council, said: “The council believes that owners have run out of road and that they can bring a good case to court.
“I am grateful to all the people of Seaford who have shown great patience and steadfastness throughout this process – the conclusion we all want feels closer than ever.”
Lewes District Council has also worked with East Sussex County Council, which controls the motorways and scaffolding renewal.
It has now decided not to renew the scaffolding permit required for such a structure.
There were concerns about the safety of the scaffolding after it moved about 15cm from the building during Storm Eunice in February.
Councilor James MacCleary, Chair of the Council, said: “The government needs to fill the loopholes in the law that developers are exploiting at the expense of local people and businesses.
“Seaford residents and retailers are the innocent victims of this and it is shameful that the owners were willing to continue this saga for so long.”
Maria Caulfield, Conservative MP for Lewes, previously told The Argus the council has “all the powers it needs” to get rid of the scaffold.
The owner has been asked for comment.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20879044.talland-parade-scaffolding-seaford-go-high-court-order/?ref=rss The scaffolding of Talland Parade in Seaford could comply with a High Court order