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Updated: November 21 2012.

I have to say that I agree with Cllr Rod Main on this one. By all means lets have some properly planned long term sustainable regeneration, but all we have heard about this Water Park is that 'it could look like this' or 'it could be built there'. No firm proposals or plans have been seen.

Is it not time to focus on the achievable, rather than all this 'pie in the sky'.

Mr Grumpy 



There has been much talk recently about the proposed Water Park. Many are saying that it will be, if I can paraphrase; The Best Thing to Happen to Newhaven Since Sliced Bread. The problem I have i,s "How do they know?".

I have been to several meetings, soft launches and the like and I have yet to see any plans. I am still in the dark as to which site, or sites, have been identified for this development. I have heard at least three different locations proposed and while the latest - possibly, maybe, if - suggestion might seem the least contentious, there are still no definite proposals.

There have been lots of pretty pictures of other water parks on show, some open air, some enclosed. Given the vagaries of English weather, an enclosed park must be the choice here, but what will it look like? Trilobite like structures have been displayed and there has been talk of geodesic domes a la Eden Project. But actually, nobody knows what it will look like because there is nothing yet proposed.

I can quite imagine that if there is to be £350 million pounds worth of development in Newhaven, this could be good for all sorts of reasons. Some of this could be earmarked for road upgrades, some for new longer platforms at the town station. We might even speculate that the port infrastructure could get its much needed facelift on the back of it. There could be all sorts of employment opportunities created. It could be a radical change for Newhaven and see it get some serious regeneration. But at what cost? What if the proposals. (when/if they appear). mean that certain areas have to be demolished? What if it means that certain businesses will have to close or be moved elsewhere? What if Newhaven people don't want their town turned into a Water Park? It would seem that people in certain areas have yet to realise the cost of selling off a recreation ground, let alone what else might be in the pipeline.

Surely all these things must be taken into account before anyone can make a judgement. In order to weigh up the pros and cons there must be something on the table that we can all look at. So, unless some folks are more privy to the information than we are, it must be premature for people to be nailing their colours to the mast of, "this will be good for Newhaven," when there is nothing to discuss... except the number of zeroes after the first digit of the money involved.

You'd have thought a more measured, more conservative approach would have been taken.

Cllr Rod M. MAIN 


Well Done Steve!

Wholeheartedly agree with you on this, and as you quite rightly have stated before, the Devil will be in the Detail - None of which has been forthcomming yet - Not even the size of the proposed Water Park in ratio to the Incinerator.

One of my neighbours' daughters lived in the North of England for a few years, (Northumberland I think), and it would appear that a Kuwait backed company was buying up plots of land for a proposed Water Park. Ten years on - nothing has happened!....I guess they can build houses on the land purchased now?!
It pays to be cautious as Steve is so rightly pointing out.

Cllr. Diane Hall 



Well done Steve. Totally agree with your stance on the Waterpark and it is refreshing to read.

Let them prove they are genuine first, then Newhaven will listen.

It's time we were treated with respect, not as a stepping stone for some supposed go-getter.

Gary Middleton


Steve Saunders writes:

I have recently been berated by Conservative members of the District Council, for my comments over the Waterpark proposals and their disappointment that I have not shown unwavering support, or shared in their overwhelming enthusiasm for the scheme.

Despite my replies to their concerns, it seems that they fail to understand my stance at this early stage, of non-commitment.

I, like many residents who felt let down at the lack of expected detail at the recent 'Soft Launch' event at the Hillcrest Centre, find it difficult to show either optimism or pessimism, preferring to be realistic in my approach to the scheme, whilst I await the release of the masterplan promised by the developer, following their consultation.

I understand of course, that there are many advantages for the town, should the developer's scheme be realised, but as a lifelong resident of Newhaven, I am well-placed to know of the many disadvantages to the proposals and the pitfalls that they must overcome to enable their ideas to become a successful reality for them, as well as a sustainable and harmonious future for the residents of Newhaven and the surrounding towns and villages.

Comments and correspondence I have recently listened to and read from Conservative hopefuls in upcoming elections is both short-sighted and ill-informed. Rash decisions have been made over our town's future before, and it is sensible for all those involved to come to considered and thoughtful conclusions, once all the details have been presented.

I am committed to making the right decision based on all the facts and with the blessing of the people who matter, not simply the political ambition of individuals from outside Newhaven. I am not blinded by the glare of many obvious advantages, and equally, not oblivious to them either. I just want to have the chance to make an impartial decision based on facts and not pipe dreams. I want everyone to be able to understand and make their own minds up, as to whether or not it's the right idea and the best way forward.

I have always felt that there are real opportunities for development in Newhaven, and with it's strategic position it is the jewel in the crown for the district, and I don't want to see it sold off to the highest bidder for a quick fix and in a naive and ill-conceived way. The developer has offered both consultation and involvement. Let's do just that, before pre-judging and assuming support one way or the other.

I would like to hear from as many people, groups and businesses as possible, to see what they think about the plans and what they'd like to see. I have no preconceptions and will be happy to take comments back to the cross party group at LDC, of which I, and my colleague, Cllr. Julie Carr, are members.

I understand that many people will not be able to go along and visit the display shop in the town centre that is being set up by the developers, or will have been able to attend the public meetings arranged by Jo Pettitt, but I want as many people as possible to engage with this consultation process. I don't want us to get to next year and have those making the decisions accusing us of apathy. I know that despite past responses to major decisions in Newhaven, we feel taht we have been ignored, and that may well have been the case.

As I have said before, I take the Developers and the Leader of the District Council at their word and will trust them to fulfill their promises until I feel they are letting us down in any way.

The District Council has the facility to keep up to date on progress and announcements via its website and, I believe, to leave comments there if you so wish. Visit:

Haven News continues to be a great source of information and forum for everyone's comments and I'd like to commend the team for all the items they cover.

Cllr. Steve Saunders
Lib Dem Councillor, Valley Ward, Newhaven