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April 24th, 2019.

Community campaigners, town councils and wildlife groups from across Sussex turned out in force last week, to argue against Lewes District Council’s inclusion in the local plan of controversial policy E1, which would allocate a Local Wildlife Site near Tide Mills for Industrial development.

Just before the hearing, which was held at County Hall, Lewes District Council and landowners Newhaven Port and Properties (NPP) had submitted a proposal to reduce the land covered by E1 by removing a small area of the most important habitat.

Emily O’Brien, pictured above, Spokesperson for Community Action Newhaven said afterwards: “We were pleased that NPP and Lewes District Council at the eleventh hour admitted that the area must be reduced, but their compromise offer didn’t go nearly far enough. So many different organisations attended and spoke passionately to show the Inspector why this designated Local Wildlife Site should be preserved and enhanced. Newhaven has had enough inappropriate development dumped on it and this would be the final straw.

“We were delighted that Lewes District Council finally admitted the community and wildlife importance of this area, and that they also acknowledged publicly that Policy E1 had been added too late in the process, so the community had not been able to have its say.”

Community Action Newhaven, Seaford Town Council, Newhaven Town Council, Sussex Wildlife Trust, Sussex Ornithological Society, Friends of Tide Mills, CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) and campaigner Geoff King all spoke against the proposal. Each presented different evidence but agreed that the area of E1 should be substantially reduced, with the new port access road currently under construction forming a clear boundary to all development associated with the port.

The Government Inspector is expected to report back following the hearing in the next six weeks.

There is more information on the campaign on the Community Action Newhaven Facebook page HERE.