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August 15 2013.

I do not live in Bishopstone and have no vested interest in the planned event, but may I suggest either LDC or the organisers advise people where the planned road closure will be.

I find it hard to believe that even LDC would confine all the residents to their homes with no way out, especially taking into account the age range there. Many rely on their cars due to the hilly nature of the area.

Hopefully full information will help the situation, as I get the impression from reading other people's posts that it is lack of information that is the problem here!

Yvette Bullen


It's a shame that the Planning Officers do not have the delegated powers to ensure that the weather is kind to the event!
I cannot see that closing off a section of Marine Drive will cause too much of an inconvenience, as it can be accessed from either end, through a small detour via St Andrews Drive and St. Margaret's Rise by vehicles. It is a road closure and I doubt that the pavements will be closed to pedestrians.

What an earth is all the fuss about?

It appears that community spirit and neighbourliness is somewhat missing here. Was there a huge inconvenience when the roads were recently resurfaced in the area?
As Tony Nicholson rightly points out, such examples of great public and community spirit should be encouraged and celebrated, not chastised because of the problems associated with the petty bureaucracy that is necessary to organise such an event. Whilst of course, people and authorities need to be aware of what is going on, surely common sense should prevail and the officers' decision in this instance, should be seen as a wholly reasonable one to have made.

As Chair of Newhaven Town Council's Planning Committee, I often feel frustrated about some decisions that are made by officers under delegated powers and not referred to the District Committee for discussion, but this would not be one of those instances.

I hope the event goes well and those attending are blessed with the weather that unfortunately no one can guarantee.

Good luck Sharon.
Steve Saunders

Just for information: The LDC Councillors who represent Bishopstone are Cllrs. Ian White and Barry Groves. The latter is a resident of Marine Drive itself. Whilst Sam Adeniji is a very capable Councillor, in this instance it may be pertinent to ask for their input and assistance, as they are after all, paid to represent Bishopstone residents as part of their Ward of Seaford West.


This road closure went before Seaford town council and was objected to.

I also am amazed Bob Brown should assume that it had not been discussed as it should be.

As I am on the present administration I would suggest in future that he does some enquiries first before making his comments.

All minutes of the meeting are available online or from the council offices.

Paul Franklin. 



I live at one of the junctions with Rookery, but can find no information regarding which junction will the closure be effective from. If it is intended to encompass the green junction, then as a resident living alongside the northern edge I will categorically state that we have not received even the courtesy of advice regarding this event.

Is there a way that the exact closure area can be determined? Please inform or ask the organiser to email me with the exact details.

Thank you

Chris Westcott

Haven News - Contact details passed to organiser.


I am amazed to read this. During 8 years as a Councillor on Seaford Town Council with numerous attendances at Seaford Town Council Planning and Highways Committee meetings, I can recall that virtually every application of this kind for road closures had first to be discussed at STC level before Lewes District Council could authorise it.

Without this "control" mechanism we would be returning to thev "bad old days" before 1999, when Seaford had no Town Council and all decisions regarding the town weere made from Lewes. Is the present aqdministration prepared to see that situation being reintroduced?

Bob Brown
Seaford Town Councillor 2003-2011 



I hardly think it is likely that a quiet residential street would have such a dramatic effect on Bank holiday traffic.
I am aware of the demographic of Bishopstone, a healthy mix of people of all ages and states of health.

I also know, from being involved in public events, that provisions for emergency vehicle access are accounted for when granting permission.

The original correspondent acted in haste and mistook the location for the seafront, which actually has a lot of access points. Therefore I would expect some humility, even though the correspondent hides behind an alias.

John Powell

Haven News: In fairness, the confusion over the road was our fault, not the original correspondent. Apologies again.



I am concerned lest there is any doubt under what powers the road closure was made. The power to make temporary road closures is not a planning matter and as such is not susceptible to call-in. It has been delegated to the Director of Planning and Environmental services as laid down in the Council's Constitution. As I cannot recall this issue being debated in my time as a councillor I suspect it has been there from some time before 2007 when I was elected first.

The officers carrying out this procedure seem to have acted in accordance with their normal procedures. Road Closure orders are made for all sorts of reasons; Bonfire Night, French market, street parties would be examples.

I write in a personal capacity as I have no mandate in Marine Drive, not being a councillor for this ward, but I do live here. I am aware that the government in its desire to reduce red tape has enjoined councils to be less prescriptive about road closures for street parties and Councils cannot ignore that. The police and Highways have, I assume, approved it.

I do however believe that the Council should look again at this delegation, but we must take care that we do not so bureaucratise it that people are put off. I happen to believe that what is motivating the promoter of this event is laudable. She is displaying the sort of public spirit that I found so refreshing in my year as Chair of Lewes District Council last year.

I suspect I am going to be inconvenienced on the day, but it is up to the promoter to ensure the day runs smoothly.

Tony Nicholson 


Lets put this issue into context and give it some clarity!

The first issue is that this road closure order was granted by Lewes DC Planning Dept. without there being the required public consultation with local residents, either by the event organisers or Lewes DC Planning Dept. before this closure order was granted.

The second issue is the very flawed nature of the planned event. This event is designed to encourage children to play in the road under the title of a 'PLAYING OUT' event. What ever happened to the 'mantra' of 'Don't play in the road'? I am very sure that all parents have said this to their children on very many occasions, yet here parents are being encouraged to ignore this decades old advice and to encourage their children to play in the road. I wonder what the reaction of those parents might be if their children play in the road on any other day and are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. This highlights just how flawed this idea is.

The third issue is the demographic of Marine Drive. The vast majority of the residents of Marine Drive are either middle aged or are senior citizens. The number of households in Marine Drive with children of pre-school or school age could be counted on one hand. So where are all these children for this 'playing out' event are to come from. Should this event go ahead it will be for a very definite minority group at great inconvenience to the vast majority of residents as regards access to the houses in the road .

So to sum up, we have a road closure order granted to allow an event of a fatally flawed nature when it comes to Road Safety, and in addition the closure order was granted without following the full and correct democratic procedure of conducting any public consultation prior to granting the road closure order. I have subsequently learned from a member of the Lewes DC Planning Committee that this road closure order should probably have been referred to the council planning committee rather than being granted by Lewes DC Planning Dept. under delegated powers.

So I hope this now puts 'ALL THE FUSS' into context.

Geoff King 


I can quite understand the frustration felt by residents. Unfortunately Lewes District Council's Planning Department have a tendency to take the law into their own hands quite often.

We have been having trouble getting a fence, which is a safety issue, taken down after many months since its erection.

I am sure Mr. Adejani will do his best for the residents concerned, but unfortunately in the case I have mentioned, he was unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with this part of Lewes District Council.

Mary Clarke



It makes a considerable difference as to whether it's Marine Parade or Marine Drive but LDC should have consulted STC for their views prior to granting consent. As one of your correspondents said, Marine Drive is the main (and indeed only) entrance to the Bishopstone estate so I assume the organisers have thought about signposting alternative routes around the estate.

It also makes a considerable difference whether it is a private party as implied in the Haven News or whether it is a street party, of which there were many last year.

Come on Bishopstone! Give the organisers a break and join in the fun!

Rosemary Collict 


Now we know its not the seafront road...does anyone care?

Andy Barnes


Well its good that this issue is generating some public response at last. Its more than Lewes DC Planning Department or the organisers of the event did by way of public consultation prior to approving this road closure.

I accept that John Powell is entitled to his point of view, as long as he doesn't expect those of us who will be inconvenienced by this road closure to agree with him. I presume by his comment asking if all residents of Bishopstone are invited that he isn't a Marine Drive resident himself.

His comment on walking and/or cycling is far from helpful given the demographic of Marine Drive. 

Mr Grumpy



As the organiser of the street closure mentioned, I am surprised and saddened to see what is intended as a very positive community endeavour is being reporting and perceived in this manner.

The closures are legitimate and have followed a totally tried, fair and legal process of neighbourhood consultation. Neighbours were invited to discuss any concerns with organisers so that they could be resolved.

I am sorry that the writer of this article did not take advantage of this invitation and chose instead to bring it to the press in this way.

I am sorry that the press did not research the matter towards a piece of fair and balanced journalism.

Far from being a 'private children's party', the playing out session aims to be an inclusive way that has been proven to bring cross-generational community cohesion, neighbourhood spirit and meet children's needs for important physical activity and social development. In fact, the closure is modelled after similar activity springing up across the country and now supported by the Department of Health. You can see  and for more information.
Also just to set the record straight it is not the main seafront road, which is Marine Parade, it is Marine Drive a residential street in Bishoptone.

Sharon Kneller 



Confused as you state it is main seafront road, ie Marine Parade, but LDC website states it is Marine Drive, Bishopstone and effects the road between Rookery Way and Hurdis Road?

The difference in the impact to residents, visitors etc is huge depending on which is correct!

Are you able to clarify which road it is that will be close please?

Seaford Hard of Hearing Club

HAVEN NEWS - Yes - Our fault. It is Marine Drive, Bishopstone. Apologies for the confusion.



If its Marine DRIVE that's being closed, that's NOT the main seafront road, it's the road into Bishopstone estate. The main seafront road is Marine Parade so there does appear to be some confusion already!

Having said that, it still doesn't detract from the underhanded way LDC appear to have acted on this occasion. But, sadly, it appears that the road closure, (whichever road it is), will go ahead whether people agree or disagree with it.

The action now required is to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again in such a deceitful way!

David Westcott



I find this unbelievable. Hope all emergency services have been informed - as we must be made aware of any road closures or disturbances etc and this is a route we regularly take...

Not to mention that this is the Bank Holiday weekend bringing visitors into the town and generally more traffic movement, I can only imagine they know the right people in the right places to have got this approved.

Emma Sallows 



Reading up on the LDC website regarding applications for road closures the powers to close the road come under the Town Police Clauses Act 1846 - Section 21. Applications have to be submitted at least 8 weeks in advance so that ESCC Highways (among
others) can take a view.

It is the applicant that is responsible for ensuring that all necessary road signs and barriers are placed on the highway. It is also their responsibility to advise any residents and business on the road affected of the time, date and extent of the road closure.

I assume, therefore, that LDC will have consulted with those people it has to consult (highways, emergency services and so on) and that there is no strong argument against it. So it will have granted permission under the 1846 act. Its up to the organisers to do the rest.

From what I read, this isn't a planning application as such and it probably wouldn't have been referred to the planning committee in any event. I will be interested to see what Cllr. Adeniji finds out. Especially if, as Mr King asserts, we also have to deal with dangerous presidents (Gaddafi?, Amin?, Saddam?).

My guess is that street closure precedents have already been set in the intervening 166 years since the act was passed.

Cllr. Rod Main



It's only one afternoon so why all the fuss.

I presume all residents are invited as it is in Bishopstone - a residential 'suburb'.

Just park your cars nearer the main road or, god forbid, walk/cycle to the shops/pub/beach!

John Powell

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