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September 3 2012.

Haven News was unable to attend last week's Newhaven Town Council Planning Meeting, which was attended by Arrowcroft, the Railway Quay developer. We asked Councillor Steve Saunders for an overview of the Arrowcroft part of the meeting:

Daniel Carter from Arrowcroft came along to the meeting to answer questions from both members of the Committee and the public, at the Planning Application Committee. 

Mr. Carter was asked about the resubmission of the application and in particular what had changed from the original application. He explained that Network Rail had written a letter of support for the proposals and that they had no objections to the traffic management proposals detailed in the re-submission. They had incorrectly been said to be against it at the Tideway meeting. When questioned by both the public and the members, about sustainability of the planned development, he argued that their application encouraged local people to walk, rather than drive to the superstore and that they had not only included re-use of many of the architectural features of the old buildings into the new designs, but had designed attractive pedestrian routes across the bridge back to the existing town centre to encourage regeneration of the retail element there. Their plans also included utilisation of the derelict, listed Marine Workshops and the Carpenter Sheds, for among other things, a hotel, restaurants and a new ferry terminal, which would help revitalise the ferry operations in the port.

There were concerns raised by the public as to the sequencing of the works and the possibility that the supermarket would get built first, with the remaining works being effectively shelved. This was refuted by Mr. Carter, who gave his word that this would not be the case.

Mr. Carter also explained that provision for free parking in the town centre through 106 monies, (for an explanation of the 106 Agreement CLICK HERE), would be down to the District Planning Committee.

Some concerns from the Town Council's earlier comments stemming from the 'Big Planning Event', were put to Mr. Carter by Cllr. Bradshaw, such as the issue of sales area in the new store and the effect on existing businesses in the town. Mr Carter re-affirmed his statement that he felt their application would be better poised to encourage footfall into the existing town and one member of the public mentioned that the new store that had been set up in the town offering discount goods and foodstuffs, had appeared to not have unduly affected the Coop store.

The Planning Committee concluded by welcoming the resubmission and re-affirming their support for the application, as they had done for both applications earlier in the year.

There are legal arguments being put forward by both the Arrowcroft and ASDA developers, to persuade the District Council on how to deal with the resubmission of the Arrowcroft Plans and an announcement is expected soon from LDC. There is support for both applications from many local people.

Steve Saunders 

Visit the Railway Quay Development website at: