The release of funds to develop a major regeneration scheme for Newhaven has been approved by council leaders.
At a meeting on Monday (July 2), members of Lewes District Council’s Conservative cabinet agreed to spend up to £500,000 to work up investment proposals for Newhaven town centre.
The scheme is expected to focus on three council-owned sites: Newhaven Square Shopping Centre, the Seahaven Swim and Fitness Centre and the Lower Place Car Park.
Across the three sites, the council is working with commercial operators to build a range of developments including a 69-bed hotel, a supermarket and a new community health and leisure centre. The scheme also aims to build up to 110 homes, all of which will be classified as affordable.
Introducing the plans, the cabinet’s lead member for finance Bill Giles said: “I am absolutely delighted to present this paper today. Newhaven town centre is a key development site within the town and will play a critical role in developing new housing and employment space.
“The final development costs will be subject to future cabinet reports, setting out the investment required. In the meantime cabinet is requested to set aside £500,000 from the property acquisition and development fund.”
Cllr Giles, who is also councillor for Newhaven Denton and Meeching ward, added that the regeneration project is expected to create 82 new full time jobs and up to 20 part time jobs once completed.
Cabinet members also agreed to a number of measures designed to improve parking as part of the regeneration scheme.
The measures include allowing visitors to park for free for short periods of time at two of the town’s multi-storey car parks. The free parking is expected to be available for a minimum of 30 minutes, but may be extended to up to an hour following a request by Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Saunders.
Cllr Saunders, who also sits on Newhaven Town Council, said: “My main request to cabinet is to amend that to an hour’s free parking instead of 30 minutes, because I think that will be far more beneficial to the town and far more beneficial to the regeneration of the town centre itself.
“But I do welcome the fact you are now considering free parking as part of this development and I would be glad to see the consultation on the plans, which i’m sure will get the full support of the town.”
Councillors also agreed to work with East Sussex County Council to target nuisance parking in the town and spoke of plans to set aside land at Railway Quay for extra parking when the development begins
Further details of the scheme are expected to be published as part of a public consultation this September, which is expected to be followed by a formal planning application in November.