THE LEAD councillor for planning on Lewes District Council Tom Jones was stressing this week that the council was one hundred per cent behind regenerating Newhaven.
This was after the planning committee postponed making a decision on a supermarket and housing development at Eastside from Avalon.
The council said it wanted to wait until it could look at all the development proposals for Newhaven from three separate developers at the same time.
Cllr Jones said the council wanted to hold a special planning meeting at Tideway School in Newhaven on Monday May 14 or Wednesday May 16 when it would make its decision on the schemes.
Cllr Jones said: “Lewes District Council is 100 per cent behind the regeneration of Newhaven, in particular Eastside, but it has to be what the people of Newhaven want. We feel at the moment there is a need for more clarity for what everyone is bring to the table on this.
“I really do hope that individuals who live in Newhaven make their voice heard and their views known because at the end of the day it’s what that community wants.
“My goal in life whilst I am on this council is to get the plans in place so that the people of Newhaven can feel proud and confident and restore their self esteem.”
Cllr Jones indicated the town centre might need to take a different direction to revive it.
Instead he suggested it might become a social hub, with services such as a supermarket, library, council office, instead of a thriving retail centre.
Cllr Jones said: “We are concerned about the town centre, but perhaps we need to start looking outside the box in terms of what people would like to see and maybe it will result in moving away from what a traditional kind of town centre used to be?”
The council also wants to wait for the Port Masterplan consultation in January. a decision from East Sussex County Council on funding the port access road in February and district council reports into town centres, retail development and regeneration priorities in Newhaven.