January 18 2013.

Belated happy New Year wishes. I was hoping to have something about the Waterpark proposals to say before now, but alas, the 'formal consultation process' which was promised for January 2013 has yet to kick off. There's still time though and I'm optimistic that the PDSA haS not been turfed out of their community serving furniture outlet in the High Street for no good reason. Perhaps the long-awaited outline plans will be shared soon in this high street space which Roundtable Entertainment intend to use for public consultation, along with the recently closed 'cake outlet' next door.

To whet your appetite, having been given a version of Roundtable Entertainment's embryonic plans straight from the horse's mouth, (which correlates with information imparted by them to numerous other interested parties), I can tell you this much in the meantime: Round Table Entertainments intend to submit a planning application to build the world's largest indoor Waterpark along with a 400 room hotel, 45 retail units and car parking space for up to 2,000 vehicles, on the green space between Newhaven and the boundary of the South Downs National Park near Piddinghoe. The waterpark itself will be so huge that it will "dwarf the incinerator". Roundtable is also aiming to acquire land on the North Quay between the railway station and the incinerator with a view to building a bowling and cinema complex on that site further down the line. Roundtable has mentioned an idea to build a footbridge between the North Quay site and the Waterpark site, roughly just north of Denton Island, close to where boats currently turn, presumably so that visitors to its various attractions can walk from one side to the other.

Visitors arriving by rail however will be expected to walk to the waterpark via the swing bridge and along a newly created walkway which will incorporate part of the East-bound one-way system.

To address the rather weighty traffic implications, Roundtable Entertainments intend to build a link road between the C7 and the A26 so that the anticipated 800,000 annual visitors will NOT add to the congestion in the town. The C7 in particular will NOT be used by the Waterpark's punters and their SATNAVS will NOT shuttle them all through Kingston village via the A27 because "the waterpark will only be signposted from the A26".

Given that these proposals, if they come to fruition, will wipe Newhaven from the map and replace it with a theme park, it would be nice, polite even, if Roundtable would hurry up and show the good people of Newhaven its plans for our town. We've been promised 'the final say' by Lewes District Council, but it's hard to say anything at this stage without something to look at, and it doesn't exactly inspire confidence that January is ticking by with little sign that Roundtable Entertainments' first deadline is going to be met.

In fact, I hear now that the Waterpark information shop in the High Street is to be opened mid-February. Perhaps Roundtable Entertainments is aiming for a Valentine themed launch to assure us of its love for the town?

Best wishes,

Jo Pettitt.