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October 30 2012. 

I'm an outsider, although I think I'm allowed a view as every traffic jam in Newhaven seems to affect me in Seaford.

If the proponents of this scheme are so sure about its viability, both commercial and social, how about an extraordinary clause in the agreements, (planning, land sale etc.), so that in the event of the whole scheme not proceeding, what is built is transferred without historic cost or on-going liability, to Newhaven Town Council? It can't be Lewes DC as they might be seen to have a vested interest, since they sold off part of the public land with minimum local consultation.

My idea is not very likely I know, but in the event of the scheme proceeding, any agreement must include punitive clauses to prevent the developer cherry-picking the bits of the overall scheme that might make them money and abandoning the community gain elements....... And what socially responsible developer, working in good faith, could possibly object to such a reasonable suggestion?

David Swaysland

Mr Jones West Quay resident nice one!

Ashamed to say you live in Newhaven brilliant ! What is so shaming? You actually live in a lovely little town that has been abused for far to long. Look around you; a fantastic little beach safe for children and free to use if only we were allowed, fantastic free areas to walk or whatever, a quay that would be fantastic if renovated, but best of all a community that given the chance would make the town you obviously hate living in something special.

Give the people of Newhaven the chance to decide their future, not some Chancer waving cash at LDC.
As for employment; do you honestly think anyone workin at the Waterpark will be paid more than the minimum wage or that they will be recruited from here anyway?

Gary Middleton


I cannot abide by these negative inputs by local people. Everyone seems to whine on about how terrible this idea is because of potential traffic, electricity usage and increased pressure on local services - how selfish! The local facilities will be up scaled as part of any development, but there is one major benefit that all the detractors keep forgetting - employment.

People in this area need to think about the opportunities for young people in 4-8 years time, at present there are none. This development will bring jobs and secure incomes in areas such as retail, hospitality, engineering, maintenance and I'm sure many others - maybe Newhaven will become somewhere people aren't ashamed of again.

I live on West Quay, I bypass the name Newhaven when I talk about where I live because of the reaction it generates and I'm not the only one. I don't do anything in the town because it is a dreary place with no clout when it comes to shopping or recreation.

Give this town a plan for the future, stop killing it off with selfish negativity and think about what these plans could mean, really. This is a chance to make people proud of the area, to talk about it, change it and promote it - or we could leave it to slowly die off, through more years of underinvestment, ever increasing social problems and more and more people omitting the use of its name out of complete shame.

Chris Jones
West Quay Resident 


Enough of the long winded tripe !! 

Four problems:
A259 Seaford
Newhaven to Beddingham
And the fantastically dreadful coast road all the way to Brighton

That's four awful single lane roads!!!

I honestly can say that until the road infrastructure is vastly improved, this supercilious attention grabbing nonsense that is ' the biggest waterpark in the world ' fantasy , is nothing short of being the single most bonkers conceptual thinking that man has ever created !

I am all up for rejuvenating Newhaven as the last time I heard it was in the top 20 most deprived towns in England, and by putting something like this in would be morally wrong ! How will people in such a deprived area be able to afford it ? It is like taking a horse to water and then stopping it from drinking !
Oh but it will increase local employment I hear you cry !!! My answer is yes it will, but I doubt that water park staff are in the top bracket for pay !!!
I believe that a hyper modern technical college/university with campus would be a far better venture because of how much extra revenue the students bring to the towns small businesses ! 

Anthony White


Along with Julie Carr, I am one of the two Valley Ward Councillors for Newhaven.
We were the first to register our outrage at the way the sale of the Recreation Ground was both announced and rushed through, with the minimum of consultation. We both attended the Public Meetings at Lewes Road Hut and Southdown School, organised by Jo Pettit. We are now the Lib Dem members of the Cross Party Working Group, set up by LDC to oversee the proposals, following the decision to sell made by the Council Leader, James Page. This group includes three Conservative Councillors: Cllr. Rob Blackman, (Seaford), and Cllr. Robbie Robertson, (Peacehaven), as well as Cllr. Page, (Telscombe), as Chair. The remit of the group is to try and ensure transparency and proper communication to all members and the public throughout the process and agree on the consultation systems adopted, so that as many interested parties as possible are properly engaged with.
At the last meeting I assured those present, that Julie and I would commit to doing this and referred to Cllr. Page's promise, (and endorsed by the developer on the night), that; 'If the people of Newhaven don't want it, they don't have to have it'.

I made the point that there are many pro's and many con's to the development and that whatever individual Councillors, (me included), felt about the proposed scheme, it was the people who should decide.

The points made by the taxi driver at the meeting at Southdown, Sue Bratchie at the Lewes Road meeting, on these pages and on her Facebook site, are again their views, and the people who chose to comment on them. There is a great deal of anger about the way the scheme has developed thus far: Anger about the lack of consultation before the sale of the Recreation Ground; Anger from Councillors like myself, that we weren't consulted as the constitution demands; Anger about the loss of amenity land that has been the subject of many previous discussions and proposals relating to development of larger and improved facilities at the site. There is also real concern that yet again Newhaven is going to be run  over in a roughshot manner by a belligerent Council that wishes to push through far-reaching proposals, without the blessing of the townsfolk who have most to lose. The legacy of the Incinerator debacle and the decision that was taken despite more than 16000 letters of objection, does not make the local people feel confident about promises made in this instance. In light of all this recent 'history' no one could blame Newhaven residents for their pessimistic view of the planned consultation.
Cllr. Main makes valid points about the Eastside development plans and I look forward to the chance for these to be brought back to the Planning Committee for re-evaluation soon. 

The Town Council worked hard to campaign alongside NPP from the outset, to bring the Rampion Wind Farm to the Port, as we recognised its importance in the town's regeneration. I personally feel that the Wind Farm, together with the Library and Fire Station relocation planned for the Town Centre and the news of a UTC for Newhaven, will be a great catalyst for the rejuvenation of the town in a sympathetic way, without the need for ground-breaking proposals, which will see the loss, (as Jo rightly points out), of its character, identity and potential. As a born and bred Newhavener, you wouldn't expect me to say anything less. I am however, an elected representative of the town and therefore at the mercy of the residents who elected me to office, to decide on how I vote on any proposals. I would not presume to make decisions based on my personal feelings.
It is very, very important that as many people as possible engage in the consultation process. Go to the 'Soft Launch' at the Hillcrest Centre tomorrow and Wednesday, (have your face painted too, if it's on offer). Go to the shop in the town, (have a cuppa), and look at the plans as they develop and also please attend the meetings. Most of all, and if we get the opportunity as Jo suggests, vote in a referendum for or against the development. Don't be distracted by patronising offers and quick-fix claims. The devil is often in the detail with such proposals and everyone should take time to check the detail and look at the long-term prospects for Newhaven, with or without the scheme. LDC and the developer have promised to listen to us, so let us not let the town down and make our feelings known.

If the proposals are rejected by the people of Newhaven and LDC allow them to go through, then Cllr. Page's suggestion that he, (and his Party), will be held to account at the next election, may be true for the Conservatives in Newhaven at least.

If Newhaven decides it wants the Waterpark, then at least we will be able to look back in a few years time, knowing it was our decision that lead to our town's success or failure. It may be the right idea, it might not, but it should be YOUR choice, not James Page's, not the developers and not mine for that matter.
There's an awful lot of attention being focused upon this area and we need to make the right decisions for our future and our town. 

Cllr. Steve Saunders 


I have two young children. We tend to go to Center Parks twice a year for the water park there - it's FAB.

We occasionally swim at Newhaven pool, but it is boring and unimaginative, so Lewes and Eastbourne often get our custom instead.

We have swam at Brighton, (where it is incredibly busy always), and also travelled up to Burgess Hill, which has a fantastic fun pool.

Newhaven needs a 'Centre of Something'. I say a pool could be it, depending on the execution of the idea. It needs roads and rail to back it up and then the small businesses will flourish around it.

Is it not the case that Sussex does not have a major shopping centre? How many people travel to Bluewater and Westfield instead of shopping in the South - Can we attach a cinema and bowling alley to the Newhaven develpment too please?

I believe that Newhaven Port can take any size boat at all times of day, whereas Brighton and Eastbourne have restricted opening times ... let's bring the boats in too!

Andy Barnes


Conservative district councillor Su Bratchie is correct to the extent that this proposal is complex, would change the face of Newhaven for the foreseeable future, and has some positive aspects. But so few details have yet been announced that it is impossible to make a judgment at this stage. All we have is a whirly drawing in the local paper, so like her I hope the developer of this scheme will tell us more at its 'Soft Launch' at the Hillcrest Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For starters, we need to know much more about the real scale of the beast, where exactly in our town it is intended to be located, how access would be managed by road and rail, and what the South Downs National Park Authority thinks of the impact on Britain's newest National Park.
In response to the person who earlier made the point about traffic through Kingston village; as the county councillor both for most of Newhaven and all the villages up the C7 towards Lewes, I shall ensure that they know all about it and have the chance to be heard whenever the actual planning process gets underway.
Finally, the impact of the waterpark - if it ever gets beyond a 'concept' - will be so massive that Lewes District Council must agree to a referendum, so that local people can say 'yes' or 'no', when we have all the information.
Cllr. David Rogers OBE,
Lib Dem county councillor for Newhaven & Ouse Valley West. 


What on earth is Sue Bratchie talkin about? Everyone with Newhaven in their heart would love investment in their town, but not a massive waterpark and 70000 visitors. Where is that an improvement?

It's good to be different Mrs Bratchie, but be serious. This plan is laughable and pie in the sky.

Wakey Wakey!

Gary Middleton


This hideous idea of a waterpark is more than ridiculous!

Actually I can't even bring myself to waste my time!.

Crap location for an idea that will already only attract half of its potential by positioning on the coast!

It will fail in a catastrophic level!

Watch this space!

Anthony White


I have waited a while to listen and read others opinions regarding the Water Park and this letters page.

Wow! what a negative Bunch !

LDC needs to be praised and thanked for the forward thinking that rushed in and secured this Opportunity for Newhaven, and YES I do see it as an Opportunity.

In a recession with NO public funds available we get the opportunity to have a Major Tourist attraction in a nearly dead Town with a Gateway To Europe.! Before anyone says, you wouldnt be 'for' it unless you lived here, I do, I am a resident in the Valley, and that qualifies my opinion, and all the neighbours in my road (I have spoken with) are for it to!, and, it must be said frustrated by this negative attitude to this Investment the main comment from them being, (without prompt) the best NEWS for Newhaven in a LONG time, the opportunity to change the face of Newhaven from a run down Industrial bleak sad place, although nestled in the beautiful Downs and a Town that is a UK Gateway TO EUROPE.

So not all Residents are against it, there are a lot for it !

For years we have watched and listened to administration after administration in the Council 'talk' about 'Regeneration of Newhaven', now we have a pro-active Council, making things happen, or at least, trying and winning an opportunity over other run down Towns in the UK who wanted this, to bring this hope of real change for our Town to us.

I amongst others are exasperated at the Level of negativity from the Local MP who has had ample years to DO something and the current people on Newhaven Town Council who also 'appear' to be very negative towards this great opportunity, because after all at the moment,that is all it is !

Due to this frustration, and yes even anger from some of the residents in the Valley I have spoken, to at the short sighted, negative opinions of those at the Resident meeting for the Recreation Ground, I decided to give people a voice through a Facebook page, yes, IN SUPPORT of this opportunity to drive this Town upwards, hopefully to create Jobs for our young, reinforce the French Investment to the Ferry and the Regeneration of the Port,you never know we could even attract the building of a posh nice Marina? hopefully get the Train Station flourishing with a regular fast and straight through line to London, creating a New - Newhaven, a Commuter belt (hopefully) where people want to live and buy houses, and fill our Churches, shops and Charities, creating Sales for the New Builds and for the properties we currently have. People starting up New Business and renting Units laying vacant, and driving the new Infrastructure we so badly need.

Idealistic wishful thinking ? Maybe, but better grab an opportunity than let it pass by, to chance to see Growth and Opportunity and Life than watch Investors pass us by and then the continued death to our Town, our Port, and the surrounding area

Hopefully the New 'Dome' will be the 'New' Focal Point for Newhaven and not our Incinerator, hopefully people will come from Paris and London and use, and have a better Ferry access creating more footfall for us and the Ferry provider. If the Ferry prospers, the Port prospers. People who say that they will not venture around and about the area, people are not cattle to be shifted and herded around, they have free choice, they may want to discover the Downs, The Fort, use the Ferry, and Yes, maybe other Investors will come and want to bring shops to a high street here we do not have to be ashamed of ! A BIG project will drive other Investment, other Investors and people will notice and hear about Newhaven and momentum can be created.

Come on people! This is an opportunity for better Infrastructure, a New Face for Newhaven, a Happening Town, something to brag about, visit my Facebook Page -!/NewhavenHotelWaterParkSupportGroup - and Like if you are FOR a New Newhaven and are glad that the majority of current LDC Councillors are inspired and driven to make this happen and grab it with both hands, see what a Water Park has done for Stoke on Trent,.

I have a Yes Petition on the ESCC website PETITIONS Page, and remember, remember, not the 5th November, but to visit the Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven on 30th and 31st October and see the soft launch what could 'possibly' happen with these Investors. There is no more Public money to be had, it has to come from Private Investment. Get an 'Informed' opinion not just scare mongering and negativity

Newhaven is worth Investing in.

Dont lose this opportunity lets 'be a part' of its shaping and creation

Lets hope a 'New' Newhaven can rise from the Ashes!

Su Bratchie
Valley Ward resident


Currently, (throughout this winter), streetlights are being switched off at night around Newhaven to conserve energy. Yet a 'Waterpark' on the scale proposal would use massive amounts of energy at a time when there is real concern over energy supply and demand not being matched on a global scale. How then, can such a scheme be even considered, when we shall not have the energy resources to supply this massive energy-guzzling 'Fun Fair'.

Secondly, as a Valley Ward resident living in an elevated aspect, already we have the incineration in our face, with its silver colour blocking out the green backdrop of the South Downs. This Waterpark would become another 'in all our faces' construction, pumping out yet more light polution at night, adding to the incernator's own light polution... and there will be the inevitable noise up until at least 10:00pm each night, especially at weekends and holiday times.

The current largest water park, I understand, is in Canada, which has a visitor capacity, (at any one time), of some 40,000. So, with 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 or more people within this Waterpark is up to five times the population of Newhaven itself. Imagine all those coming by car or coach... The Sat Navs will be directing most of the traffic through the village of Kingston, nearr Lewes; Has anyone yet pointed out this fact to the Kingston village residents?

Once any construction work commences on this ill-conceived Amusemant Park, then it is likely my house, (for one), will be up for sale, (already a number of people had moved out of the Valley Ward, expressing 'The Incinerator' as their main reason for moving).

'Despairing Valley Ward resident'


I agree with all that both Peter Isted and Jo Pettitt have said regarding this 'very silly idea'. All the points raised are very valid and appropriate.

I am also heartened to hear Cllr Rod Main go some way to agree with the views expressed.

I am very unhappy however that he should get a 'plug' in for the ASDA Barrett development which keeps being referred to as 'East Side'.

Firstly, this is not East Side proper, its not Beach Rd or Railway Rd, it is a 'green field' site.

Secondly it is out of town so does little to enhance Newhaven.

And thirdly, he says he is 'dubious' about the assertion that the support for Arrowcroft and the Quayside project was ignored. Surely, that is the one project THAT would have regenerated Newhaven and the Town Centre.

Or is it that by raising those issues again, he is trying to deflect attention from the real issues that are going on.

Maybe I am a cynic, but would you trust any of these councillors???

Mr Grumpy


I've read Jo Pettitt's summary of the position and I think she certainly catches the mood. I'm a bit dubious about the assertion that the "support for Arrowcroft was ignored". Is she also ignoring the support for the Eastside/ASDA development? The point is two new supermarkets are not an option so LDC are bound to be disappointing somebody..

The same cannot be said for the Lewes Road Rec. We seem to be being told that nothing will happen on that site for at least four years and possibly eight. So it's now blindingly obvious that the sale of it was ... to be polite... premature. I've heard the reasons given for it but they don't convince me. I still do not understand the rush to sell it. I doubt if anyone in Newhaven does.

And what of this water park? Without any solid plans or proposals, its hard to see whereabouts it could go. Until some are on the table then "pie-in-the-sky" seems to be an apt description fo where we are.
Hopefully, KEH's soft-launch will puts some meat on the bones and we will be able to see what they are really talking about.

The sums talked about have a lot of zeroes after the first digit and that could mean more than just "regeneration". That could be radical change. So even if it looks good, it must be down to the residents of Newhaven to say yay or nay. Leaving it to councillors to decide won't be good enough.

Cllr Rod Main


At the start of last Thursday's public meeting, many were pleased to hear both Cllr. James Page, (Leader of Lewes District Council), and Jenny Rowlands, (Lewes District Council Chief Executive), acknowledge that mistakes were made and lessons learned regarding the sale of the Lewes Road recreation ground and adjoining land. This enabled the general focus to quickly shift from the sale of the site to the intentions and credibility its new owners, KEH. People were keen to seek responses from LDC and KEH representatives to very valid questions about the proposed water park and its potential impact on Newhaven.

Some information was offered by Dominic Howson, the 'European Director' of KEH developments and 'Managing Director' of Round Table Entertainments, (a consortium of companies created by KEH to project manage the water park development). We were assured that the Lewes Road recreational field will not be developed if planning permission is granted for the water park, although this does nothing to appease the numerous locals who regularly enjoy using the land north of the field. We were told that the water park would attract 800,000 visitors per year and yet questions about infrastructure, access and possible location were answered only to the very limited satisfaction of many present.

As promoted in the local press over the last week, all, (or at least some), is to be revealed at KEH's 'soft launch' at the Hillcrest centre next week. So far, we have been treated to a dubious 'artist's impression' of a water park dome and a mail-shot invitation, (which looks like a children's birthday party invite), to the 'soft launch'. From this potential £350 million investor, we are promised 'display boards' and an opportunity to meet the CEO, as well as free tea and coffee and, rather patronisingly, face painting for children. I think we need a lot more than this, and soon, if the investors are to be taken seriously.

We have been promised a genuine consultation process by KEH and LDC has assured Newhaveners that they will 'have the final say' on whether or not the development goes ahead. The town that has been dumped upon time and time again is told to get involved with this process and that their voices this time will be listened to. Some of course will actively engage. Many others, quite understandably, will feel that given the history of the incinerator and ignored support for the initial Arrowcroft proposal, efforts to engage are futile. As local resident Mary Meadows says on the 'LewesRoadResidents'Voice' Facebook page:

"Personally, I suspect it's a mixture of land grab on the cheap to make money and career councillors wanting to push through something big on their watch, with none of the people involved really caring about Newhaven. I think this 'soft launch' means trying to persuade people it's going to happen anyway and then offering them something back that they should have had the decision on in the first place as if they're caring about the community"

In my opinion, if LDC really wishes to deliver on its promise to the people of Newhaven then it should stage a Yes/No referendum for Newhaven residents at the end of the 'consultation process' when plans, if they come to fruition, are firmed up. That way, everyone in the town will be able to make an informed choice and the outcome will be clear for all to see and difficult to manipulate.

I think it's a mistake to assume that 'something is better than nothing' for Newhaven. Few would deny that the town is in need of TLC, but that does not mean that it needs to jump into bed with the first chancer who comes along and flashes his cash. Newhaven deserves more. It needs appropriate development that is sympathetic to its location, environment and history. I share Cllr. Page's enthusiasm for the Rampion and University Technical College projects and I'm all for the Arrowcroft proposal for the East Quay. Good things are already happening for the town.

A water park however would be a huge internalised complex which would bring little footfall beyond its own parameter. A water park would put a water park 'on the map' and wipe Newhaven from it. Promises of jobs, regeneration and investments need to be weighed carefully against the loss of Newhaven's identity, character and true potential. Not to mention the loss of many townsfolk who will move away if Newhaven is obliterated by a development of this scale and nature.

Given the impression made on me by KEH/Round Table so far, I find it hard to believe that their water park proposal is any more than pie-in-the-sky. If they're serious however, and LDC are certainly taking them seriously, then a referendum is the least Newhaven people deserve, as they are the ones who will have to live with a water park when individuals at LDC have long since moved on to pastures new.

Jo Pettitt
Lewes Road resident, Newhaven.  


Have the Developers thought this through?

The infrastructure to the proposed site is extremely poor. Neither the C7 or Beddingham Lane will be able to cope and the A259 is always blocked somewhere at some time.

This has to be the daftest proposal so far. And as always it really does not matter what the locals have to say. No one will take notice of us. Look what happened re the Incinerator. Need I say more?

Peter Isted