Councillor ‘appalled that town has been dumped on again’

Newhaven Port
Newhaven Port

There has been an angry reaction to the go-ahead for a concrete plant to be built at Newhaven, and it’s not the Brett Aggregates application.

East Sussex County Council last week decided to ‘approve in principal’ an application from F M Conway Ltd to install and operate an Asphalt plant, concrete batching plant and gully waste plant, together with ancillary development on North Quay Road, Newhaven.

Full planning permission will be granted subject to a legal agreement which is expected to be completed in due course.

Hundreds of residents had written to object to the plans.

They argued the concrete plant would cause problems with air quality, worsen road congestion and will cause chaos with the addition of 80 more swing bridge openings per year.

Darren Grover, Lib Dem County Councillor for Newhaven, Denton, South Heighton and Bishopstone, said: “Lib Dem campaigners in Newhaven have led the fight against this proposal since we first heard of it last year.”

He continued: “At this week’s East Sussex County Council Planning Committee meeting, I spoke and voted against the proposals, because I have very serious concerns about how it will impact on our already congested roads, the impact on our air quality, and that it simply does not fit in with the Enterprise Zone’s promise of Clean, Green and Marine developments.”

F M Conway, based in Sevenoaks, Kent, will employ 60 people to operate the plant, and will be responsible for more than 45,000 HGV lorry movements travelling to and from the plant 24 hours per day each year.

Sarah Osborne, Lib Dem County Councillor for Newhaven Valley, said: “I am appalled that yet again Conservative and Labour councillors have ignored the very serious concerns of Newhaven residents and dumped on us what they don’t want in their own areas – they don’t seem to have learnt from the incinerator shambles that they must listen to residents.”

Newhaven Town Council, South Heighton Parish Council, Lewes District Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership also objected to the plans on the grounds that the development does not meet their criteria for clean development, that it is not a port-related activity and so is a waste of rare water-side space, and that the space could be used to create many more jobs than this development will provide.

Cllr Grover added: “Despite all of these objections from residents, local councils and regeneration experts, Labour and Conservative councillors have nodded through yet another unwanted and harmful development in Newhaven. This is a backward step in the regeneration of our town and just demonstrates how little those Labour and Conservative councillors care about Newhaven and its residents.”