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November 18 2014.

Residents are being urged to have their say on the Newhaven Neighbourhood plan that is being put together by Newhaven Town Council. The plan, that is proposing 830 new homes in Newhaven to be built between 2010 and 2030, is in the process of being agreed.

Since April 2012 the government gave local communities the ability to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their local area, putting in place planning policies for the future development and growth of their towns and villages and a real say as to how their land can be used for housing, business and social use. However, Maria Caulfield, pictured here, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Newhaven, is concerned about the lack of engagement of residents in Newhaven and is worried that the plan, that should be an opportunity for residents to have a say on how they want their town to grow in terms of business and recreational use, is just turning in to a vehicle for building more housing. Commenting on this she said: “I recently attended one of the public meetings on the neighbourhood plan and it was very poorly attended by local people. Most people in the town who I have spoken to since, were unaware that the event was taking place, or the significance of the neighbourhood plan for Newhaven.”

The Neighbourhood Plan, if adopted, will form the blueprint of the town for the next fifteen years. Before it is agreed the town will hold a referendum where all residents will be able to vote on the plans.

Maria continued: “Most people I speak to in Newhaven feel that the focus on regenerating the town is too focused on house building and what people really want is to see businesses encouraged, local jobs created and for Newhaven to look and feel like it’s cared for. The neighbourhood plan gives people this opportunity and yet the main focus so far has been to identify sites for 830 new homes.

“While housing is important, Newhaven needs bigger ambitions that that, and I am urging people to let the town council know this as soon as possible before it is too late.

Neighbourhood plans are being developed by other towns and villages in Lewes District too. They are important as they can safeguard certain sites from development and ensure that the Community Infrastructure Levy is applicable, which sees a 25% levy being charged to developers, which must be spent on local infrastructure, instead of the current 15% charge.
With this in mind Maria said: “While the creation of a neighbourhood plan for Newhaven is very welcomed, we need to ensure that residents and local businesses have their say.”

For further information visit Newhaven Town Council Website HERE or contact Head of Strategic Development Susie Mullins