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District news Autumn Edition 2016


FEATURES Deep clean for Seaford 4 Heritage Lottery projects 5 Seagulls: did you know? 6 Newhaven Growth Quarter 7 Small business winners 8-9

REGULARS Housing news Ranger events Council meetings

10-12 13 14

From harvest moons

to blazing bonfires “The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore.” So wrote Virginia Woolf in To The Lighthouse. Her novel is set on a Hebridean island, but she may as well have been writing about autumn in the fields, woods and beaches of Sussex, where she lived with her husband Leonard at Monk’s House in Rodmell. In this issue we try to capture some of the seasonal beauty of our district, including our nature reserves where our Community Rangers have been introducing residents to the local wildlife (see page 13 and below).

Steam locomotive at the Bluebell Railway by Chris Jenner


RIGHT Family fun with our Community Ranger, Thyone Outram at The Old Brickfield Local Nature Reserve, Seaford BELOW

Elephant Hawk-moth

District News is available in large print, audio tape, disc or in another language upon request. To receive District News by email visit CONTACT 01273 471600 EMAIL DESIGN Lewes District Council @LewesDC

We are fortunate to have a wealth of wonderful heritage in our district and we are pleased to have been able to help two of these historic highlights – Newhaven Fort and the Bluebell Railway – apply for Heritage Lottery Funding (page 5). Bonfire Night is one of the highlights of the autumn with Lewes Bonfire the biggest of a number of bonfire processions across the district. Although it is not our event, we would urge people to stay safe (page 6), and our wonderful waste and recycling team will of course be responsible for cleaning up afterwards!

Harmony in play A new sandpit, challenging clamber stack and toddler scooter track all form part of the improvements we have made to the Walmer Road play area in Seaford. We commissioned playground specialists HAGS-SMP to work with the existing play features to create a play space in harmony with the locality that will become a destination for local families without negatively impacting on local residents.


LDC Leader Cllr Andy Smith with young skaters


of their dreams Skaters in Lewes and the surrounding areas have had their chance to help design the skatepark of their dreams at Malling Rec (behind Tesco). We are working to secure ÂŁ200,000 worth of funding to upgrade Lewes Skatepark and as part of the project invited local skaters and bikers to get involved. Over 90 local skaters, BMXers, scooters and a mountain boarder! got involved in the first round of consultation that started in May, where the community was asked for ideas about what is wanted in the new skatepark design in terms of ramps, bowls and street elements. A smaller group then met in June to go through the results and write the design brief and draw concept sketches to go out to potential skatepark builders. At a third consultation event in early September, people were invited to review and vote on the submissions. Further information can be found at

The new features form an exciting play area offering a wide variety of challenges and experiences for a range of ages and abilities, with materials and colours that complement the setting, giving the playground an overall more cohesive look.

Paws on Watch If you are a dog walker, you are likely to be out and about in your community, often several times a day, and have a reason to be there. This means you have an opportunity to spot things happening and report anything suspicious to Sussex Police. Paws on Watch is a project organised by Lewes District Community Safety Partnership, of which we are a member.

Deep clean for Seaford

We would like you to have two roles as you exercise your dog.

Seaford town centre has been given a deep clean as part of our ongoing programme of ‘clean-up days’ in the district.

• To act as an extra pair of eyes and ears in your local community, reporting back anything suspicious.

Mechanical sweepers, barrows and new cleaning equipment were brought in to blitz the town centre, in addition to our regular street cleaning and litter picking. Volunteers from Seaford Town Council and local residents came along to help, making this a real partnership effort.

• If you feel able, to promote responsible dog ownership by encouraging other dog walkers to clear up after their dog and offering them a poo bag.

Particular attention was paid to unauthorised signage including advertisements on lamp posts and banners attached to railings. Cllr Paul Franklin, Lead Member for Waste & Recycling, said: “These special clean-up days focus attention on the small things that when combined make a big difference. Litter picking, removing waste and deep cleaning makes the area clean and attractive for people to visit and spend time.” Plumpton, Newick and Lewes have also benefited from recent clean-up days.

To find out more and to register, please visit or call 01273 471600.

We are setting up a network of independent local litter pickers in the district. The aim of the network is to support the activity of volunteer litter pick groups, help new groups to set up and attract new members, and share information about local events. Anyone can join as an individual or group. Visit to find out more.

Our winning heritage Two of our district’s heritage highlights – Newhaven Fort and the Bluebell Railway in Sheffield Park – are being given a boost by Heritage Lottery Funding. Over 150,000 people a year visit the Bluebell Railway running between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. We have given a £12,000 grant towards the heritage railway line’s Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) Project. The ASH Project is seeking to raise £210,000 to match fund a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £840,000, to raise a total of £1,050,000 to build a new interactive, wheelchair accessible display which will help to boost visitor numbers and repeat visits.

Together with our partner Wave Leisure, we are delighted to have won £54,300 in transition funding for Newhaven Fort from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This will help to ensure the long-term future of this Ancient Monument by developing the Fort’s income potential, staff development, building up the active volunteer base and looking at the feasibility of establishing a conservation training initiative within the Fort.

Cllr Smith said: “This is a fantastic project to convert the front part of the running shed into an exhibition hall, with digital technology where visitors can explore how steam engines work as well as providing the railway with a new maintenance facility.” If the funding is approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund then work will begin in 2017. Artist’s impression of new exhibition hall at Bluebell Railway courtesy of Matthew Cousins BELOW Classic steam locomotive by Chris Jenner ABOVE RIGHT

Ways of increasing the number of school visits, improving the events programme and better marketing initiatives are other aspects that the funding will help to deliver. Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council said: “We are taking a pro-active approach to help secure the long-term future of Newhaven Fort.”


Stay safe on the fifth Bonfire is a great Sussex tradition. This year, the fifth of November falls on a Saturday, so we would urge people to take extra care.

Seagulls: did you know? • Most of the seagulls in our district are Herring Gulls which can live up to 30 years.

• Seagulls are omnivorous scavengers and can carry harmful bacteria.

• Seagulls can be discouraged by not feeding them, making sure all rubbish is bagged securely in a closed bin and by preventing them from nesting on your property.

In Lewes town, Bonfire is organised by the Lewes Bonfire Council and is not a Lewes District Council event. However, we work with partners to ensure the safety of those attending the event. Our waste and recycling team work through the night to ensure the town is clean and tidy the following day.

• Once seagulls find a nesting site, they usually return each year.

• If seagulls start nesting on one roof, it is likely that more will be attracted to nest on nearby properties.

• Gulls usually cause the most problems during the breeding season from May to July. They are noisy and can be aggressive when protecting their nest and chicks.

• ‘Bird-proofing’ can be carried out by qualified contractors to make nesting sites less attractive. Autumn, when the nests are not active, is a good time to do this. These measures include chimney guards, roof spikes, roof wires and nets.

• Where more properties have gull-proofing measures in place, there will be less chance for a gull colony to grow.

• On warm weekends over the summer, we added an afternoon litter bin collection on the seafront at Seaford to help combat seagull problems and we are working with Seaford Town Council on a joint approach for 2017. For more information about seagulls and how to deal with them visit

It is important to be aware the event may not be suitable for children and Lewes is not set up to handle large crowds with its narrow streets and limited access into and out of the town, with road closures on the night. We are working with the bonfire societies and other agencies to reduce accidents. We are keen to promote the use of eye protectors and ear defenders and discourage the throwing of fireworks in the crowds or processions.

Take care of our waste staff We would like to thank motorists for the care they take when passing our waste and recycling staff during their collections.

Open for business

In any one round our teams collect up to 17 tonnes of waste from around 1,000 homes. To achieve this our staff need to cross the road frequently to get from kerbside to vehicle. This can be hazardous if motorists do not take care when passing.

High quality space for growing businesses, a community hub and extra childcare places are all on offer in the newly-extended Newhaven Growth Quarter.

The safety of our waste and recycling staff is of the utmost importance and we thank you for taking into consideration the hazards our staff face when providing these services.

We have worked with partners to complete this exciting £2.5million project which has increased the number of units available at the Enterprise Centre to 60, extended the Denton Island Community Centre and provided a new breakout space at Sussex Downs College.

To find out more about work we have done to improve health and safety visit HealthandSafety

Leader Andy Smith said: “We want to firmly re-establish Newhaven as a place to live, work and do business.” One of the first businesses to benefit is SFXC Special Effects & Coatings, who specialise in cutting edge colour changing ink and paint products. Research and Development Area Director Oliver Dredge, said: “I am thrilled to be located in the newly-extended Enterprise Centre. I really want my business to enjoy the kudos and fantastic facilities on offer to new businesses in Newhaven.” If you are interested in renting a unit, please contact Abbi Burgess, Basepoint Centre Manager on 01273 615250.


Small is


Our district boasts a wealth of small, independent businesses with big ideas, as the winning line-up from the Lewes District Business Awards 2016 shows. Cheese Please > Winner: Best Independent Retailer Sponsored by Viva Lewes This Lewes-based specialist cheese shop run by Fiona Kay sells in excess of 100 different carefully selected cheeses from the local area and across Britain. This business has an impressive and constantly growing line of products, a well-developed staff programme, growing online presence and expanding events.


Front Room ^

Tracey Horan, Dolly Fixtures ^

Winner: Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Sponsored by Harvey & Son Ltd

Winner: LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year Sponsored by LEAP

This family-run coffee house and tapas restaurant is located on the High Street in the heart of Seaford’s Old Town. The building dates back to 1896 and once upon a time Front Room would have been just that – a front room. This has formed the basis of owner Victoria Young’s hospitality philosophy.

Tracey studied fashion design and textiles at school and has gone on to set up Dolly Fixtures, a business that creates a quirky range of home furniture and accessories based on mannequins covered with decoupage fabrics and textiles.

Boom Boom the Label > Winner: Small Business of the Year Sponsored by Swindells A small fashion label run by 24-year-old Alie Mackintosh who has a passion for creating trend-setting clothing. Since its 2013 launch, this business has begun to demonstrate global success, with an amazing 70% of orders being shipped internationally and a remarkable sales growth of almost 200% in the first quarter of this year.

Other winners >

Company of the Year: Cheesmur Building Contractors Businessperson of the Year: Richard Soan, Richard Soan Roofing Services Best Employer: Wave Leisure Trust Best Customer Service: Community Transport for the Lewes Area Green Business: Ringmer Community College and Sixth Form Business Growth: Cheesmur Building Contractors Business in the Community: Burleys

Housing advice surgeries

Attractively affordable

If you are having difficulties paying your rent or mortgage, need advice on your rights as a tenant or owner, need to find somewhere to live, or are having problems maintaining your home then come to a “Housing Advice” drop-in surgery: Peacehaven Community House, Meridian Centre, Meridian Way Monday 9am-12.30pm Lewes Council Offices, Southover House, Southover Road Tuesday 9am-12.30pm Newhaven Saxon House, Meeching Rd Wednesday and Friday 10am-12.30pm Seaford The Police Building, Church St Thursday 9am-12.30pm You can also visit our website and complete an online housing advice request or email For our duty housing officer rota visit: For people living in villages with no means of transport, or people with disabilities our advice officers would be happy to arrange a home visit.

Building new and affordable homes across our district is a priority for us. We are in the process of building 22 new council homes on five of our own sites currently occupied by old, dilapidated garage blocks that are no longer suitable for storing cars. These have now all been granted planning permission and we have commissioned construction company Thakeham to build the new homes, which are due to be completed in summer 2017. The sites are located in Hythe Crescent (Seaford), Rectory Close (Newhaven), Headland Way and Balcombe Road (Peacehaven) and Grassmere Avenue (Telscombe Cliffs). We are also working to ensure that affordable homes are built and made available to local households in need on a regular basis across the district, often as part of mixed housing developments where market and affordable homes are built side-by-side in an integrated approach. Cllr Ron Maskell, Lead Member for Housing said: “Beaumont Gardens in Peacehaven is an example of one such development that has been completed recently. The development, also built by Thakeham, includes 12 new affordable homes managed by housing association Affinity Sutton and shows how affordable housing can look just as attractive as neighbouring homes being sold on the open market.”

YOU ARE INVITED to our annual tenants’ conference on the morning of Saturday 22 October at Priory School, Lewes. Come along to find out all the latest housing news, as well as enjoying information stands with freebies to take away, followed by a scrumptious free lunch. There will be workshops on carrying out repairs in your home you are responsible for, enjoying healthy living and fire safety in your home. We will also be presenting awards to the ‘Tenant of the Year’ plus others. Visit or call 01273 471600 to book.

Letting your property We are responsible for managing the property, giving you peace of mind that your property is in safe hands while earning you a steady income. The benefits:  Guaranteed rental income for the term of the lease.

 Rent paid monthly to your bank account even

if your property is empty.

Through the Private Sector Leasing Scheme, we take on privately owned homes usually on a three year lease and use them to house local families in need of accommodation.

What we need from you:  Self-contained properties of one to three bedrooms in Lewes district.

 Unfurnished properties that are clean, safe,

secure and in reasonable state of decoration.

 Properties that meet health and safety

standards and have current gas and electrical safety certificates.

 No management fees or commission charges.

 An Energy Performance Certificate for your

 Guaranteed vacant possession at the end of

To find out more and arrange a free, no obligation appointment with our team contact: Tel: 01273 471600 Email:

 Regular inspection visits to your property.

the agreed term.

 We manage the tenants and the property.

 At the end of the lease your property will be


returned in good condition.


Helping you to help yourself Around 500 residents have signed up for our new online selfservice facility since it was introduced in March, enabling them to view their account information easily and swiftly. Whether it is to check your council tax balance, instalment plan and payments records – or to find out more about discounts, exemptions, reliefs or reductions, or copies of letters the Council has sent to you, this new service is proving extremely popular. Enhanced features mean you can also sign up for direct debits and in the future you will be able to report a change of address online for council tax, claim online benefits and notify changes in circumstances. Cllr Tony Nicholson, LDC Lead Member for Customers and Partners said:

“The new online service means that residents, businesses and landlords can access information about their accounts whenever it is convenient to them. So please don’t delay, visit our website and go through the steps to create your own account with your own unique customer reference number for whatever service you require.”

A recipe for disaster

• Use a timer. • Take pans off the heat, or turn the heat

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is highlighting the importance of paying attention while cooking.

• Teach children kitchen safety so they

We would urge people to take some simple steps to stay safe. For more safety tips go to

down, if you are called away from the cooker, eg: by a phone call or someone calling at the front door. understand not to distract you. However, if you do have to tend to the children always ensure that cooking is put on hold and the heat is turned off.

• Avoid cooking if you have been drinking alcohol or taken prescription drugs: you may get drowsy or lose concentration.

• Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and they are tested regularly.

Night-time beauties Our local moth expert Steve Teale and our Community Rangers treated members of the public to a night of never before seen beauty at ‘Nighttime at Newick Common’. The event was part of Moth Night, an annual celebration of moth recording throughout Britain. This year’s theme was Hawk-moths and the crowd was treated to some stunning examples. With over 2,500 species of moth in the UK, the Hawk-moths are definitely the sports car of the moth world. From the electric pink of the Elephant Hawk-moth to the army camouflage of the Lime Hawk-moth, they provide some of the most colourful and exciting moth encounters in the country and are always a crowd pleaser. Our Community Ranger Dan Fagan said: “Moths are a hugely important part of the natural world. They help pollinate lots of plants and provide a food source to other animals such as bats. The general thinking is that moths are brown and boring, but events like these let people see how exciting and beautiful these creatures truly are.” For more information about our nature reserves, conservation work and ranger events visit

Going wild This summer we invited you to visit some of our beautiful nature reserves to hunt for hidden pictures of some of the amazing wildlife that lives there.

LDC Wild encouraged residents and visitors to get out and about and discover the beautiful and varied green spaces our district has to offer including the Old Brickfield in Seaford, Landport Bottom and the Railway Land in Lewes, Meeching Down and Castle Hill in Newhaven and the Big Park in Peacehaven. Lots of you tweeted in photos of yourselves next to the pictures including an adder, a lizard, a peregrine falcon and native butterflies.


Elephant Hawk-moth Lime Hawk-moth


For more information about our Community Ranger events and the nature reserves in the district visit:


Lewes District Council meetings scheduled for autumn 2016 are open to the public Planning Applications Committee 1 Audit and Standards Committee 3 Cabinet 2 Planning Applications Committee 1 Council 1 Planning Applications Committee 1 Cabinet 2 Scrutiny Committee 2 Planning Applications Committee 1 Audit and Standards Committee 3 Council 1 Planning Applications Committee 1 Employment Committee 3

21 September 26 September 28 September 12 October 13 October 2 November 16 November 17 November 23 November 28 November 7 December 14 December 19 December

5:00pm 10:00am 2:30pm 5:00pm 6:00pm 5:00pm 2:30pm 10:00am 5:00pm 10:00am 6:00pm 5:00pm 10:00am

Venues: 1 Council Chamber, County Hall, St. Annes Crescent, Lewes 2 Telscombe & Ditchling Rooms, Southover House, Lewes 3 Ditchling Room, Southover House, Lewes

For further information and to confirm meeting times, dates and locations, please contact the Committee Section at or call 01273 471600 Information is correct at time of going to press.


District News autumn 2016  
District News autumn 2016