1,000 individual objections as port plant scheme debate looms

Community Action Newhaven staged a protest demonstration at the proposed site earlier this month
Community Action Newhaven staged a protest demonstration at the proposed site earlier this month

The controversial plans by Brett Aggregates Ltd for a concrete plant in Newhaven are due to be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday, April 4.

The application, which has attracted approximately 1,000 individual objections, has been submitted to East Sussex County Council for a decision as a ‘county matter’.

But it will be considered by Lewes District Council’s Planning Applications Committee next week. Its views will be forwarded to the county council and taken into account when the application is determined.

It is for the construction and use of an aggregate processing plant on a site at The Barn, East Quay, Newhaven.

The scheme seeks permission for an aggregate bagging plant and buildings, and a concrete bagging plant and buildings.

The proposal includes ancillary offices and stores for processing and utilising aggregates landed at Newhaven Port and distribution of the products by road and rail, together with access to the public highway and the extension of an existing rail siding.

The main grounds of objection are that:

- The proposal is contrary to the clean, green mantra of the Port Masterplan and is not the type of clean commercial, employment generating use which would benefit Newhaven and its regeneration;

- There would be a damaging effect on the local environment and ecology, including at Tide Mills;

- The proposal conflicts with local planning policy;

- A limited employment opportunity would result;

- There would be an unacceptable increase in lorry traffic on local roads, which are already congested;

- The extra lorry traffic would cause highway hazards, noise and pollution;

- The development would give a poor impression of Newhaven on arrival to the town by ferry;

- There would be an adverse effect on tourism in the area.

The recommendation being made by officers to Planning Applications Committee members if that Lewes District Council recognises the application would make a significant contribution to the supply of aggregates, and is supported in principle by the adopted East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton and Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan.

The district council also acknowledges that substantial local objection has been raised to the application which, where founded in planning concerns, needs to be weighed up in the planning balance.

Should East Sussex County Council be satisfied that the planning balance lies in favour of the proposal in principle, the district council urges that strict controls are imposed by condition or legal agreement, to ensure that the environmental impact of the operations are as limited as reasonably possible.