Furious residents of an idyllic seaside town have demanded action against a monstrous scaffolding tower that has perched on top of a building for seven years attracting drunks and seagulls.
The ‘wretched’ structure has dominated downtown Seaford since 2016 and is erected on top of various businesses, boxing them in and hiding them from foot traffic.
And due to the town’s location on the blustery Sussex coast, windy weather has also led locals to fear for the safety of those walking beneath the beast.
After years of disruption, frustrated councilors have said they are taking London landlords Vision Properties, the owners of the Talland Place building which the scaffolding sits atop to the High Court to have it torn down.
An enormous scaffolding structure has been perched on top of a Sussex building for seven years
The structure has baffled locals who have demanded something is done about it
It towers over the small town and blocks out the sun in some areas
Ian Rose says his business has been affected by the ridiculous structure
Speaking to the Mail, Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Lewes District Council, described how efforts to have the monolith to unfinished work had been frustrated at every turn for years.
She said: ‘The owner has acted with a total disregard for the interests of businesses and shops in the vicinity of Talland Parade and used legal loopholes to frustrate every effort to get the scaffolding taken down, but not anymore.
‘Our claim against them is now with the High Court and we hope that a trial date will be confirmed soon.’
For locals and business owners living in the shadow of the beast though, it’s a case of too little, too late.
Landlord Ian Rose owns the Saxon Bar and Lounge is situated opposite the eyesore.
It’s owner, Ian Rose, is one of many who is frustrated by the towering scaffolding.
The 51-year-old from Rottingdean said: ‘ I know a lot of people who are badly affected by it.
‘The owners have done absolutely nothing with it for so long, they have just left it and left the shops below to suffer.
‘Even though they have the roof, it’s too high so it doesn’t protect the properties below as the wind and the rain comes in under the roof.’
He added: ‘I feel so sorry for the woman who lives next door.
‘Even if she wanted to move she would have to declare it and she would lose money on the property as it is such an eyesore.
‘They have had to close the road before because the whole scaffolding was bending and moving. It looked like it was at an angle.’
He added: ‘I have also seen drunk people climb up there which is so dangerous.’
The structure has become a beacon for anti-social behaviour
Anne Mulholland is concerned the scaffolding will continue to deposit plastic on her home
Anne Mulholland is retired and lives behind the scaffolding.
One windy evening she was left shocked when a plank flew into her garden.
The 68-year-old said: ‘We were just sat in our living room one day and saw an eight foot plank fall into the garden.
‘Luckily we weren’t out there and it didn’t hit anything but it could have done.’
The constant noise on windy days also stops Ms Mulholland from enjoying her garden, who has lived at the property for five years.
She said: ‘It does make a hell of a lot of noise so if it’s windy it’s very loud in the garden.
‘The scaffolding hangs over our courtyard garden and we often get lots of bits of plastic coming from the plastic sheeting around it.
‘Because of the wind the plastic ends up in tatters, so we have lots of plastic rags hanging into the garden.
‘It’s like the hanging gardens of Babylon but with plastic.’
Neighbours have also found that the scaffolding makes the perfect home for noisy seagulls.
Ms Mulholland said: ‘With the wind and rain bird poo blows in and is constantly making a mess in the garden.’
Charles Ward has described the scaffold as an eyesore
The scaffolding has prevented businesses receiving light for years
The owner of the building has confirmed that the scaffolding will soon be coming down
Charles Ward lives across from the scaffolding. He said: ‘It’s a f****** eyesore and it’s been up far too long.
‘They just need to put some dynamite up there and blow it up.’
The 77-year-old worries for the safety of the community.
He said: ‘It’s so dangerous. The winds you get here are unbelievable and there are no trees or restrictions to stop it coming into the high street.
‘When it is windy the corrugated iron roof rattles and shakes and looks like it’s going to collapse.
‘I am scared walking past as it looks like something is going to fly off and could hit anyone.’
Mr Ward moved to the area in 2019 and has only seen people on the scaffolding twice.
He said: ‘I have only seen people on it twice but that was just to reinforce the structure, not to make any progress with it.
‘To be honest I have no idea why it has been up for so long and who is paying for it?’
The retired local lives across the road from the tower and is constantly forced to listen to the scaffolding crashing in the wind.
He added: ‘I could see it collapsing in strong winds. I can hear banging from my house. I sometimes worry that it has fallen because it can be so loud.
‘One of these days it will go.’
He added: ‘I think they started the work but realised it needed to be reinforced and new foundations sorted to support the flats above so the owner buggered off to Spain.’
MailOnline approached Vision Properties for a comment on the situation.
A spokesman said that scaffolding had played a ‘key role’ in protecting the building but it will now be coming down.
They said: ‘Vision Properties, owners of Talland Parade, Seaford announce that planning is underway for the removal of the scaffolding structure which has until now played a key role in protecting the parade and the businesses occupying it.
‘Work on site will begin shortly. Subject to prevailing weather conditions and no technical issues, the majority of the visible structure should be dismantled in time for the forthcoming Coronation celebrations.
‘As a result, residents and visitors to Seaford will once again be able to admire and enjoy the skyline view from the High Street.’
A spokesman for Able1 Scaffolding told MailOnline it would begin to be taken down on March 6.