RESIDENTS of a seaside town are so fed up with scaffolding towering over their high street they want to blow it up.
The monstrous metal structure has reportedly blighted Seaford, East Sussex, for more than seven years.
The scaffolding was erected on top of various businesses, boxing them in and hiding them from much-needed foot traffic.
Drunks also use the platforms as a climbing frame and locals fear for their safety during windy weather, they say.
Members of the frustrated community have now said they are taking Vision Properties, the owners of the building which the scaffolding sits on, to the High Court to have it torn down.
It is located on Talland Place along Saxon Lane and High Street, opposite the Saxon Bar and Lounge.
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Irritated owner Ian Rose, 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."
The 51-year-old added: "I feel so sorry for the woman who lives next door.
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"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."
With high coastal winds constantly hitting the town, many worry about the safety of the structure.
Ian said: "They have had to close the road before because the whole scaffolding was bending and moving.
"It looked like it was at an angle.
"I have also seen drunk people climb up there which is so dangerous."
Since the scaffolding went up, the pub has lost hours of evening sun and other businesses have seen trade take a dive.
Ian said: "We don't get any sun after around three in the afternoon, even in the summer.
"I wasn't here before the scaffolding but customers always tell me that they would get the sun outside the pub all evening."
A local tradesman, who did not want to be named, added: "I've been here 14 years and since it appeared things have got worse and worse and I have lost over half my customers.
"It's so terrible. It's sold my business down the pan.
"I'm not visible and there is no parking outside anymore which makes it harder for customers to get here. It is so miserable."
It's so terrible. It's sold my business down the pan.
Many rumours have circulated about what is going on with the structure, including that the scaffolding firm has gone bust but Ian said no-one really knows what's happening.
The unnamed tradesman added: "It cost £40,000 a year to keep up before Storm Eunice, and it will be even more expensive now.
"Surely it's better for them to sell the plot."
Anne Mulholland is retired and lives behind the scaffolding.
One windy evening she was left shocked when an 8ft plank flew into her garden.
The 68-year-old said: "Luckily we weren't out there and it didn't hit anything but it could have done."
The constant noise on blustery days also stops Anne, who has lived at the property for five years, from enjoying her garden.
She said: "It does make a hell of a lot of noise so if it's windy it's very loud out there.
"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 found that the scaffolding makes the perfect home for noisy seagulls.
Anne said: "With the wind and rain, bird poo blows in and is constantly making a mess in the garden."
Jack Peel, a 34-year-old osteopath, added: "We back onto the building so from around 4am they start making noise and it's a nightmare."
Charles Ward, who lives across from the scaffolding, feels so strongly he suggested blowing the scaffolding up.
"It's a f****** eyesore and it's been up far too long," he said.
"They just need to put some dynamite up there and blow it up."
The 77-year-old agreed with his neighbours that the "unbelievable" wind was a major concern due to the lack of protection of trees.
Charles, who moved to the area in 2019 and has only seen people on the scaffolding twice since, said: "It's so dangerous.
"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.
"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."
They just need to put some dynamite up there and blow it up.
The retiree added: "To be honest I have no idea why it has been up for so long and who is paying for it?
"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."
Residents say they plan to take the case to the High Court to demand it is removed.
Eunice Hill, 68, who regularly uses the launderette hidden under the scaffolding, said: "It's ridiculous that it's been going on for so long.
"I thought maybe they had started the work then paused to go somewhere else but it is strange it has been left for so long."
Another woman, who has lived in Seaford for 20 years, said: "It's just an embarrassment now having this thing here.
"I always feel like I have to apologise to people who come to visit because it's so awful.
"It has changed the whole feeling and look of the town."
Vision Properties vowed to take the scaffolding down before the King's coronation on May 6.
A spokesperson 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.
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"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."
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