Local campaign group Community Action Newhaven is asking people to act urgently to save the last stretch of Tide Mills Beach from industrialisation.
It says the latest threat comes after a series of controversies over development in the town, which have seen hundreds out in protest at the Brett Aggregates concrete factory application and widespread anger at the £23 million ‘flyover to nowhere’.
The group says that there is only until Monday, November 5, to respond to a consultation on the Lewes District Local Plan, which will govern planning decisions until 2030.
Spokesperson Emily O’Brien said: “New policy E1, allowing industrial development on this much-loved section of Seaford Bay, has been slipped into the Lewes District Local Plan at the last minute.
“If the policy isn’t challenged, then council planners will have to say ‘yes’ to applications on this site, no matter how unpopular or wrong for the area.
“If you think that policy E1 should be changed and the area protected as a local wildlife site, for local people and visitors to enjoy, please take five minutes to respond to the consultation. This is the very last chance to save a large chunk of Tide Mills beach.”
Community Action Newhaven says the easiest way for people to respond to the consultation is by emailing LDF@lewes.gov.uk quoting reference E1 and saying why they think the site should be protected.
For more information see the Lewes District Council website consultation page or www.facebook.com/CommunityActionNewhaven
Ms O’Brien added: “Local people are horrified. This policy is totally out of step with the promised ‘clean green’ regeneration of Newhaven. It has been added far too late in the local planning process at the request of two organisations which have consistently failed our community – the privately owned port authority who are the landowners; and a desperate East Sussex County Council who need to justify spending £23 million of public money on a flyover leading to this site. It makes absolutely no sense to industrialise this unique and much loved section of Seaford Bay, on the border of one of the few locations where the South Downs National Park meets the sea.”
A spokesman for Lewes District Council said: “The Local Plan is important as it sets out where and how development will take place up to 2030 and when in place provides added protection from unplanned development.
“The site covered within E1 is not new and has been associated with the port since 2003 as part of the adopted development plan.
“We are keen to hear what the community has to say about the plan before it is submitted as this will provide local context for the Government’s planning inspector.”