Welcome to the East Dean and Friston Parish Council website. We hope that you enjoy browsing it and finding out more about our village and its council. We always welcome feedback from our site visitors, so if you have any comments or suggestions for improvements then please let us know via the "Contact Us" link.

What's new?

The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting, held on the 18th June, have now been published and can be viewed here.

BT intend to remove the Phone Box at the junction of the A259 and Gilberts Drive. More details here.

The minutes for the Parish Council meeting, held on 6th June, can be viewed by clicking here. If you're in a hurry then you can view a summary of the minutes from the last three months by clicking here.

Administrative Assistant - The Parish Council are currently re-advertising for the position of Admin. Assistant with a closing date of 15th July. For more information see here.

Downlands Roads Resurfacing - We have been advised by the Downlands Estate Roads Company that essential resurfacing work will be taking place in Windmill Lane and The Link from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th of July. Access may be limited on these roads during the work period.

Welcome to two new Councillors - Elected councillors have now approved the co-option of Joyce Walker and Beatrice Wheatley as the newest members of the council, taking it up to its full strength of nine councillors. Joyce is very active in local organisations while Beatrice will provide a voice for younger members of the community. You can find out more about Joyce here and Beatrice here

The Parish Council Grant Awards 2019 have been made by Councillors at their meeting on 6th June. This year's recipients of money from the grants budget were the Bowls Club, Community Responders and Hedgehog Street. In addition, the Parish Magazine will be receiving a donation from the council's PR budget and the Parochial Church Council will receive financial assistance towards maintaining the two churchyards in the village. A further sum has been earmarked for improvements to the council-owned area around the Downlands Way shops.

Vandalism on Horsefield Footpath - We regret to say that there was an outbreak of vandalism on Footpath 24, which runs between the A259 and the Village Car Park, sometime on Sunday 2nd or early Monday 3rd June. If anyone saw anything suspicious please contact the Parish Clerk (clerk@edfparishcouncil.org.uk) or Sussex police, telephone 101. For more information see here.

Parish Council charity of the year - At the Annual Parish Council Meeting on 16th May, Councillors chose the JPK Project as our charity of the year 2019/20. You can find out more about this here.

Memorial Seat - The Parish Council are pleased to advise that there is an opportunity for any resident to sponsor a memorial seat for a loved one at Friston Pond. An existing old seat has collapsed which has created this opportunity.To find out more please contact the Parish Clerk, at clerk@edfparishcouncil.org.uk or tel. 01323 811870. You can also use the "Contact us" section of this website.

The Parish Council now has a selection of litter picking equipment that is available for use by arrangement. Please contact Cllr Durso for details. Please see here for list.

The Parish and its Council


The Parish of East Dean and Friston is located between the south coast towns of Seaford and Eastbourne, situated on the southern edge of Wealden District in the County of East Sussex and within the South Downs National Park. It is a relatively large rural area, comprising the village of East Dean and Friston, together with the smaller hamlets of Birling Gap and Crowlink. The A259 main coast road passes through the Parish with the old village to the south and the newer parts of the village (known as the "Downlands Estate") to the north. The Parish is primarily residential, covers an area of 3.3sq miles and consists of some 760 households with a population of around 2,200. 

East Dean Village is centred around the Village Green with its war memorial, medieval church and long-established inn, “The Tiger”. To the North-West of the village, as the A259 ascends Friston Hill, is the area known as Friston, which was originally a separate village with its own church at the top of the hill.

Birling Gap is a coastal hamlet with a long shingle beach, backed by the famous Seven Sisters cliffs and not far from Beachy Head. The Birling Gap visitor centre and cafe, and some of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Crowlink is a small hamlet grouped around a manor house; in the 18th century it was a haven for smugglers of Gin that became known as "Genuine Crowlink". It was also once the home of the Edwardian author, Edith Nesbit, whose best-known work is “The Railway Children”.

Parish Councils were formed in England under the Local Government Act 1894 to take over local oversight of civic duties in rural towns and villages. Before this date a variety of groups based around ecclesiastical (church) parishes had responsibility for these matters, in a system of local government that originated in the feudal system of the 8th century. The establishment of Parish Councils effectively separated church from state and today's councils are totally secular in nature and independent from the Parochial Church Councils that deal with the administration of the local Church of England places of worship.

Following the 1894 Act, both East Dean and Friston began Parish Meetings (not council meetings) and East Dean then formed a Parish Council in 1924. The Friston Parish Meeting merged with East Dean to form the East Dean and Friston Parish Council in 1948.

Parish Councils are the first tier of local government and have limited variable tax raising powers. The component part of the Council Tax, which comes to the Parish Council, is known as the Precept.
Parish Councils are responsible for areas known as civil parishes, and there are approximately 9,000 Parish Councils in England. East Dean and Friston is one of those civil Parishes. Although there is nothing to prevent Parish Councils being political in nature, the current East Dean and Friston PC members are all independent of any party political sponsorship. The current Parish Council was elected in 2019 and is due for re-election in May 2023.