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August 15th, 2018.

East Sussex County Council has granted planning permission for the "Installation and operation of an asphalt plant, concrete batching plant and gully waste plant, together with ancillary development and access for F M Conway Ltd" at Newhaven's North Quay.

Newhaven Mayor, Paul Boswell said: "ESCC has again failed to listen to the voice of Newhaven residents and trampled us underfoot as usual. It’s another blow for the town in general.

"Clean Green and Marine? Not a chance where the County Council is concerned. Rightly or wrongly the feeling in Newhaven is that ESCC views us as the dumping ground of East Sussex.”

Newhaven Town Council's report to the Planning and Development Committee reads:

Application LW/789/CM(EIA) - Plots 6 & 7 North Quay Road

Installation and operation of an asphalt plant, concrete batching plant .and gully waste plant, together with ancillary development and access for F M Conway Ltd

Considered by Newhaven Town Council on 18th July 2018

The committee strongly objected to this application on the following grounds:

* The significant adverse effect on traffic congestion locally which would be created by the large numbers of HGVs servicing this development.

* The significant adverse effect on traffic congestion locally which would be created by the increased number of swing bridge openings.

* The effect of these traffic movements on air quality; also the effect on air quality of the operation of the plant.

* Noise pollution issues, both from HGVs and loading, unloading and the operation of the plant, especially during night working.

* The adverse effect of odours and dust on Paradise Park, Newhaven’s most visited tourist attraction, which is very close to this site

* The height of the proposed building and its visual impact on the townscape.

* The detrimental effect of all of these factors on the town’s regeneration. This development is in conflict with the “Clean, Green and Marine” vision for the regeneration of the town and with the aspirations of the town’s draft Neighbourhood Plan to see marine engineering businesses attracted to the town.

East Sussex County Council is the relevant Planning Authority for this application because it relates to Waste and Minerals.

Both East Sussex County Council’s Highways Department and Highways England raised no objections to the application. The former felt that the anticipated trips associated with the proposal at peak periods are unlikely to have measurable impact on the local highway network between the site and the A26; Highways England were satisfied that the proposals are unlikely to have a demonstrable adverse impact on the safe and efficient operation of the A26 and A27.

With regard to the “Clean, Green and Marine” vision and the draft Neighbourhood Plan, the County Council pointed out that the Neighbourhood Plan area does not include North Quay or indeed much of the waterfront on the east bank, and so the Plan’s influence on this part of Newhaven is extremely limited. Furthermore Neighbourhood Plan preparation is at a relatively early stage … so very little weight can be attached to the policies within it, even if North Quay was within its Plan area. The County Council also points out that the ambitions referenced by the District Council and the Coast to Capital LEP for the Newhaven Enterprise Zone (of which this site forms part) are not currently articulated in Development Plan policy.

The applicants provided an Air Quality Assessment (AQA) with their application which was independently assessed and reviewed and was considered to be robust and over a course of refinement its conclusions and latest recommended mitigation corroborated. Mitigation has been set out in a Dust and Odour Emissions Management Plan which was considered acceptable by the County Council. The applicant offered a contribution of £15,000 towards improving air quality via the Newhaven Air Quality Action Plan.

With regard to the visual impact on the townscape, the County Council pointed out that there are comparatively large structures nearby such as the incinerator and the Colas Roadstone plant. It acknowledged that from some viewpoints, particularly from North and South Way, from the swingbridge, from the northern end of West Quay and from Denton Island, the asphalt tower and concrete batching plant would be high and prominent – however it was felt that this was acceptable

in this context in an industrial area which is surrounded by other built development.

East Sussex County Council has therefore granted permission with a number of conditions attached, which include:

* an acoustic barrier to be provided parallel to the riverbank

* a Noise Management Plan to be implemented to address noise pollution

* An Environmental Fleet Management Plan to be implemented

* Restrictions on the rating noise levels from the site

* A noise survey to be carried out within two months of the site becoming operational to demonstrate compliance with the restrictions on rating noise levels

* Transfer of aggregate via North Quay Road between berth 5 and the application site shall not take place at any time other than between 0700 and 1900 hours Monday (excluding Bank Holidays) to Friday and between 0700 and 1300 on Saturday

* HGV movements restricted to the same hours as above

* Concrete production and distribution restricted to the same hours

* Removal of gully waste restricted to the same hours (all of these restrictions unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Head of Planning and Environment at ESCC)

* Copy of a report investigating the feasibility of bringing a wharf back into use to be provided to ESCC before the plant is brought into operation