NEWS is spreading about the proposal by Cross Stone Urban Regeneration to split the Parker Pen site in Newhaven into numerous small commercial units, a hotel and another supermarket. I think this plan is fundamentally flawed.
What is needed in Newhaven are employment opportunities, and this cannot be provided by a few meagre jobs at supermarket checkouts.
Newhaven suffers – as indeed the whole country – from former PM Thatcher’s mantra that major industrial manufacturing plants should be phased out and replaced by ‘services’, preferably run by self-employed individuals. (One American diplomat remarked at the time, ‘You cannot all hold the door open to each other’). We all know, most of us with hindsight, that this was a disastrous decision, which led to the present economic/political dilemma when England has not only lost international respect but also gained a large army of unemployed people.
With the Parker Pen site Newhaven is in the unique position to offer a brownfield site of sufficient size for a major manufacturer which could create valuable local employment.
Rather than rushing into hasty decision-making and splitting this valuable site into many less useful smaller ones, it would be much better to bide one’s time and wait a few more years until the concept of globalisation breaks down and industries that have been shifted to Asia are being repatriated.
Maybe someone ought to have a word with the Dysons of this country who in the recent past were so eager to move their production lines to Asia.