I was pleased to see the news about Arrowcroft’s proposals being re-submitted to the district council at Eastside.
I was very angry at the way the County Council’s Highways officer belligerently attacked their proposals at the planning meeting in May. The new plans confirm that the original plans will not unduly affect the existing traffic flow in the area and the mitigating measures proposed of traffic signalling, etc. will be sufficient to allow the scheme to work.
I felt the committee meeting was compromised by the comments over the highways issues and the members were unable to make a decision based on the merits of the two applications before them. The ASDA scheme was given the provisional green light on the night, save for increasing their offer on playspace for the community and latterly, the decision being called in by the Government.
I was contacted by several irate residents following the committee’s decision, which was only narrowly passed, concerned at the future of the East Quay and the eyesore created by years of neglect. Sometimes, you have to accept that these things happen, but I am now hopeful that the District Council will be able to look again at the two schemes together, without the unmerited interference of the County Council.
Both applications offer benefits to the community and that cannot be ignored, but the chance to look at them both with the transparency and fairness we are now offered, is an important one for the local community. A community that has most to win and equally, the most to lose from the ultimate decision that is made. To the Planning Committee, it doesn’t matter whether it’s an ASDA, Tesco, or even (however unlikely) Harrods. They are both supermarket applications, attached to additional development schemes, offering different things. The two applications can now be determined on those issues alone, without having the waters muddied by irrelevant diversions and stage-managed performances for the benefit and influence of the Committee.
The decision may go the same way, it may not, but at least it will be viewed on equal terms.
Cllr Steve Saunders.
Newhaven Town and District Councillor