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May 30 2012



I would like to know - What town centre?

Plus, if they want a town centre, then  lower the rates and rent. Then people may be able to open a buisness in Newhaven.

Tracy Mockford



I think that Norman Baker is wrong in his comments about Lewes District council allowing the go ahead for Asda to enter Newhaven.

He states that it would undermine what is left in the town centre, when in fairness there is nothing left in the town for people to shop in or visit, unless of course you want to eat.... Newhaven has 2 cafe's, 3 indian restaurants, 1 Chinese take away, 1 Italian, 1 Chip shop, 1 Pizza take way, 1 Burger shop. It seems that these are the only people who can afford the shop rental and council tax. Newhaven also has a ring road around it which presents an illusion that there is nothing within the town centre and that I suppose is why trade is dying on its feet with only big shops like the Co-Op and Poundstretcher being able to compete.

My own personal feeling is that Newhaven town centre will be redeveloped, but for housing and that's why it is being allowed to run down and die.

We have almost lost all of our banking facilities; Halifax, Barclays, Natwest and soon HSBC will go if the rumour is correct.

If Tesco's were to open it would be another in the long chain of Tesco outlets that pop up all over the place in either small garage type forecourts and the smaller Mini supermarket chains that pop up all over the place that really do not offer a lot to the community, (I would suspect 20-30 jobs max), and would they offer a larger range than say Sainsburys or Asda? I think not..

He also states that we would lose a large percentage of valuable industrial space - I think not..... On the site that Asda would take, (behind the Brightwell Estate), it used to be Bevan-Funnels old warehouse and Oak factory, which closed it's doors back in the 80's and 90's, and has been vacant ever since with little or no hope of new business to take its place, next door to this is the old Bevan Funnel main factory works, which again closed it's doors at the same time, again with no hope of any company taking up the leasehold.

I think, and this is only my personal view, that Adsa, if allowed the full retail shopping outlet that they want, will create mores job opportunities for Newhaven.

I also feel that more housing would be of benefit to Newhaven.

I have worked in Newhaven for many years and have always managed to find employment within the local area, but three years ago I was made redundant and find it difficult to find any work within the local area.....Well Mr Baker, where are the prospective business owners who will take up the valuable industrial space that you say exists?

Barry P Telfer



You might imagine I had something to say to Norman about his press release. I wont go into it all but in essence :-

His argument that ASDA will fatally undermine the town centre is just as true for the TESCO application. Indeed, its probable that TESCO would have been worse because some of the people who would walk to the Co-op would be walking to Tesco instead. This would mean that the Co-op would close and that would probably spell the end of the town centre. People won't be walking to ASDA so there's a better chance that the Co-op might weather the storm. (Its not guaranteed, of course).

The "long protected industrial land" hasn't had an industrial proposal for its use for 34 years. How long is Newhaven expected to wait for a use for that site to come along?

"Divert scarce resources to a road that the port doesn't want or need". That's only true if the Port Access Road actually gets built. True, the ASDA site will build a road that will be usable as the access, but that will be because the developer needs to build that road to get onto the site. The additional funds are currently set aside by the county for the connecting route to the port. If the port really doesn't want it then it won't happen. (I'm not sure what will happen to the money - probably end up back in ESCC's coffers).

As for pulling the rug from underneath the port master plan, are we seriously being told that NPP has pinned its future development plans on the basis that a supermarket will be built? Yes, it would have got some money from the sale of some land to the supermarket developer, but that, in itself, wouldn't revive the port's fortunes. And besides, the land is still there and there are other developers with other ideas about what could be done with the site. Perhaps the port authorities should be talking to people, (particularly those that make the decisions), instead of waiting for things to happen.

Norman comments that he thought the decision was bizarre, going against the officers recommendation to defer. The only reason to defer was for the traffic issues to be considered further. Everyone in Newhaven knows what the traffic can get like along the A259, the Drove and the A26. The supermarket, it was said, would add 50% more traffic going across the level crossing. It was stated that at peak periods, traffic wouldn't be able to exit the port. So there needed to be some way in which the hold ups could at least be alleviated. Could a solution be found in a further two months? In the Highways Officers' professional opinion, the answer stated at the meeting was that it was unlikely to be resolvable.

There was a further objection received from Network Rail on the night. In the meantime ASDA had made it clear that its investment money could be used elsewhere and it may well walk away if it was deferred again.

So, there was a big risk that ASDA would walk away and the Eastside proposal would, in effect, be withdrawn. After two months there could still have been the Highways objection and that could have been fatal to the Tesco plan. Result: Newhaven would get no developments at all. I don't really think Norman could have been arguing for that position.

Is this "an error of far reaching proportions" as Norman says? Some may well agree. I, (and a goodly number of others), think this is the first step on the road to a serious regeneration of Newhaven. Time will tell if Norman and others are proved right or wrong.

Cllr Roderick M. Main



Last weeks council planning meeting is a very black day for Newhaven Town Centre and the surrounding area. A golden opportunity to regenerate Newhaven Town Centre and tidy up the Railway Quay/East Quay has been lost.

I think this decision to go with the ASDA/Barratt plan for an 'out of town' development can be likened to the 'Ring Road' of many years ago now or more recently, the Incinerator. Look what the 'Ring Road' did for Newhaven Town Centre and look at the eyesore that is the Incinerator.

This decision to go with the ASDA/Barratt plan for an 'out of town' development will be the final nail in the coffin for Newhaven Town Centre. The ASDA/Barratt plan will create an 'out of town' development very similar to the ASDA and other retail outlets at Sovereign Harbour. It will do nothing for Newhaven Town Centre, indeed, it will attract people away from Newhaven Town Centre.

I fully accept that the road infrastructure for the Railway Quay/East Quay Tesco plan may have needed some looking at and that this was a major concern of East Sussex CC but then we all know just how little regard East Sussex CC has for the town of Newhaven. After all it is East Sussex CC that 'landed' us with the Incinerator and it would have been East Sussex CC in the role of 'highways authority' that created the 'Ring Road'.

The benefits of the Railway Quay/East Quay Tesco plan to Newhaven Town Centre and the town as a whole by tidying up the Railway Quay/East Quay and associated buildings would have been a very real boost to the town centre of Newhaven, to the port and to the local economy.

Indeed, as well as being a boost to the existing town centre and local community, the Railway Quay/East Quay Tesco plan would have created a 'destination' for visitors as they come off the ferry. So rather than the people disembarking from the ferry and driving straight out of the harbour and straight out of the town, it would have encouraged them to stop, shop, maybe have a meal, spend some time and more importantly, spend some money in Newhaven. A Golden Opportunity Lost!!!!!

The decision to go with the ASDA plan rather than solve the 'highways issues' associated with the Tesco plan is a very black day for Newhaven. My fear is that last weeks planning decision will cause the further decline of Newhaven Town Centre and will do nothing to restore the crumbling quayside and buildings on Railway Quay/East Quay .

I do not believe that the councillors on the planning committee have made right choice for the future of Newhaven. I hope that they can live with what they have done.

Mr Grumpy AKA Geoff King



I was very disappointed at the decision that was taken by the Planning Committee, on Wednesday 16th May 2012.
The choice was between two applications that included a supermarket and associated employment opportunities as part of each of their proposals, together with associated infrastructure that had direct affects on the future of the Town and it's aspirations of regeneration.

We heard objections and support for both applications and a damning report from County Highways Officers over the impact of the increase in traffic at the transport interchange for the Port (Tesco) application.

The suggestion of the Council officers was that the application for the port itself was a preferred option, but that a delay may enable a solution to the Highway Department's objections to be found. A highways expert engaged by the District Council had suggested that such a resolution could be found yet the County Council's own expert disagreed.

I suggested that if the County Highways Department worked with Port applicants (Arrowcroft), rather than simply finding reasons why the proposals wouldn't work, a solution may be possible. I also noted that the County Council's Highways department had not put forward any objections when the recent Incinerator plans that were passed, or the (now withdrawn) amendments to the planning conditions relating to weekend and Bank Holiday deliveries that were recently proposed by the County's waste partners.

The proposal put to a divided committee, was to pass the Eastside (ASDA) proposal, as it was ready to go and offered the opportunity for the construction of part of the Port Access Road, so craved by the County Council as a perceived catalyst for Port Regeneration. The Port however, had made it clear that the Port Access Road was not part of their plans and was not seen as a requirement for the boost needed for the port of Newhaven.
They (Arrowcroft) cited the need expressed by many residents, that the improvements to the quayside itself, the new transport interchange, improvements to the ferry terminal and the vista of the port adjacent to the bridge, was a more important and pressing need for the Town.

The result of the committee was a vote of 6 to 5 in favour of acceptance of the ASDA application.

I argued and truly believe, that the Port application offered more for the Town in terms of long-term regeneration and support. That the improvements to an area desperate for an uplift, would increase the mood of the residents and attract visitors, tourism and investors to Newhaven.

The adopted proposals will do nothing more than produce a 'new town' on a Greenfield site outside the present boundaries and overlooking a nature reserve, supported by it's own oversized 'cornershop' and with no need to integrate and support the existing retail units struggling to hold on in the High Street.

I hope that my concerns are not realised and that the Planning Committee's decision is not viewed in years to come as another mistake forced upon Newhaven by the County Council and their belligerent approach to our future.

I fear however, that an opportunity for real regeneration has been allowed to pass us by again and the de-generation that Newhaven has become used to, will continue. I truly hope I'm wrong. I'd honestly love to be so. I fear however, that the County Council has been allowed to play God in Newhaven once more, running roughshod over what's best for it's residents and what those residents want themselves.

Next week, the District Planning Committee meets again to decide upon a large-scale housing development in Chailey, on a Greenfield site, over-looking a nature reserve. I wonder if the Councillor that decided that Newhaven needed the housing development that offered 46 affordable homes, will think that the same will be as necessary in that ward. After all, she objected so vehemently when a similar scheme was proposed only a few years ago.

Cllr. Steve Saunders (District Councillor Newhaven Valley Ward)



When has he cared what happens to Newhaven?

Darren Good



I 100% percent back Norman Baker's comments re the development. There is no apparent vision for Newhaven.

Another supermarket for the town!? No-brainer! Just what the town doesn't need!

The town has a Port that brings in tourism. Asda won't.

Open the beach again, bring in tourism, make a town to be proud of!

We only have to look at the town 50 or 60 years ago to see how it was a thriving port and a colleague of mine even had her honeymoon there! Look back to what made towns individual, not forward perhaps!

Elena Marquess



Why does it make a difference if it is an asda or a tesco?

Andy Barnes



I would have to partly agree with Norman Baker. Newhaven already has a good mix of large retail and has no need for an ASDA store.

Also the proposed housing is in the wrong area for Newhaven. Did it not take some time for West Quay to sell? The prices being asked were too high for a scruffy port and gentrification does not work. Housing need is in the C7 and A26 corridors.

NPP have to accept that the land they own in the Eastern dock area should be allowed to naturalise as it is at present.

John Powell