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 16th July, have now been published and can be viewed here

Neighbourhood Plan  Look out for the Information Flyer that will shortly be delivered to all households in the Parish. If you haven't received one you can see a copy of the leaflet here. If you missed our presentation at the Annual Village Meeting you will still have plenty of chances to meet members of the Steering Group and tell us your views on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges presented by living and working in our parish. We hope to see you at our first community event at the Village Fete on the 20th July. 

The minutes for the Parish Council meeting, held on 4th July, 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

Flower displays

Hopefully many of our residents are enjoying the flower displays that now grace the Downlands Way shopping area. To read more about this project please click here.

Information from  East Sussex Highways/Customer Service Management
We would like to advise you of the road works on the A259 at Exceat, in the preparation for a replacement bridge over the river Cuckmere.
The works involve 3 way traffic lights and traffic disruption is unfortunately expected, so we are ensuring that the lights are manually controlled during the day, including peak hours, and are only present when absolutely necessary.
The works are planned to be complete by 9 August, meaning the site will be demobilised and returned to normal for Airbourne.

The annual Village Fete, organised by the Residents' Association is taking place on the Greensward in Deneside on 20th July. More information can be found here.

Elite Cycle Racing comes to East Dean -As part of Eastbourne’s weekend cycling festival, being held on 27th and 28th of July, two road races (one women’s and one men’s) will be making repeated circuits of Beachy Head, Birling Gap and along Gilberts Drive. The organisers apologise in advance for the necessary parking restrictions and temporary road closures, which have been agreed with Sussex Police. More information can be found here. The race, entitled the “South Coast Classic”, forms part of a national series of elite road races, and the organisers hope that residents will come to watch the spectacle and cheer on the riders as they pass through the village. You can find out more about the cycling festival and the races at www.eastbournecyclingfestival.com

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

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.


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.