Just as residents were beginning to wonder whether the Newhaven Eastside scheme would ever get off the ground, a flurry of activity began to take place.
This week the detailed planning application for 190 homes was approved by Lewes District Council’s planning committee at County Hall in Lewes on Thursday December 12.
The homes will be a mixture of two, two and a half and three storeys high.
Some concerns were expressed at the meeting by cllr Steve Saunders, speaking on behalf of Newhaven Town Council, who said the three storey homes bordering Tide Mills Nature Reserve would dominate the beauty spot, which is in the South Downs National Park.
Cllr Harris echoed his comments, arguing the three storey elements should be concealed inside the development.
However planning officers argued it would be difficult to turn it down on those grounds, given the backdrop behind the nature reserve, which included homes rising up above the town on the hillside and the ferry.
The road within the development will be managed by a private company, with residents paying a fee to maintain it.
This caused concerns amongst town and district councillors, who pointed to developments in Badgers Close and Augustfields where private roads could not be adopted by East Sussex County Council and regularly experienced problems with gritting, drainage and street lighting.
The roads at Eastside will be built to adoptable standards, which means the Highways Authority could be responsible for them in the future.
The Highways Authority also said it would prefer to adopt the roads, but reluctantly agreed to the internal roads being private.
Cllr Rod Main (L.Dem, Newhaven, Denton and Meeching) said: “It is a concern for people in Newhaven and it should be a concern for the district and town councils because they are going to start getting complaints if anything goes wrong.”
But planning officers said problems in Augustfields and Badgers Close were very different where there were no management arrangements in place.
The town council was pleased that the social housing had been spread throughout the development but raised concerns there was not enough open space and there were too many houses.
There will be six one-bedroom, 55 two-bedroom, 93 three-bedroom and 36 four bedroom units.
Of these 47 units will be affordable housing.
Homes will be finished with brick, render and tile or slate pitched roofs.
Along the western boundary up to the northern part of the site, there will be a linear green open space with planting and a cycleway/footpath and benches.
The developer Barratt Homes will build four play areas on the site and install play equipment in them.
Port access road
The developer has started work on the port access road, which will also provide access to the new housing development.