Proposals to create an educational community garden in Seaford have been approved by Lewes planners.

Lewes District Council’s planning committee approved an application to close the southern end of Cliff Gardens — a private road owned by Seaford Town Council — to create a community garden in its place. 

According to the application, the garden — designed by local artists Gabby Tofts and Christian Funnell — would act as an educational facility providing information about climate change. It would be decorated with planters and sculptures.


Proposing approval, Cllr Graham Amy (Lib Dem) said: “To me this is a great community initiative. I was really pleased when I read about this. 

“Obviously, living in Newhaven, I am used to the work of Christian Funnell. He has fine reputation now, not only in Sussex but throughout the country.”

He added: “I think this is great and I would be very happy to propose it … I think it is a great scheme and a great initiative.”

The scheme will also involve resurfacing of the area, improving pedestrian paths and the C2 National Cycleway route.

It had been proposed by a partnership known as Ouse Valley Climate Action. The partnership has secured funding from the National Lottery through a bid led by the South Downs National Park Authority.

While ultimately approved, the scheme had attracted several objections from local residents.

One resident said described it as "Disneyland by the Sea, attracting coach loads of noisy children excited at the thought of cultivated flowers in rusting steel containers and mothers with screaming babies and toddlers sitting on Disney seating and yet more fish-inspired sculptures".

Objectors included local wildlife campaigner Lynette James, who spoke in opposition to the plans during the meeting. Ms James argued the scheme would ‘change the nature’ of a ‘wild and much-loved area’.

For further information see application reference LW/22/0796 on the Lewes District Council website.