Go ahead for riverside path between Lewes and Newhaven

Ouse valley cycle path - Egret's Way.
Ouse valley cycle path - Egret's Way.

The last section of a shared path for walkers and cyclists connecting Lewes and Newhaven was given the go ahead by the South Downs National Park Authority.

The path, in two sections and measuring 8.8km, will be built at Ham Lane, Lewes, and sites west of the River Ouse.

It will join up with a section already constructed between Rodmell and Southease.

Chairman of the Ouse Valley Cycle Network (OVCN) Neville Harrison said: “We’ve been very pleased with the number of people who have said that they support the Egret’s Way.

“Getting planning permission is an exciting achievement but we still have a lot of work to negotiate and secure agreements with all of the landowners on the route.”

It was approved by the park’s planning committee at a meeting in Midhurst on Thursday Jul 10.

Neville said OVCN hoped to be in a position to build some of the Egret’s Way next year.

Funding will come from the South Downs National Park which won a Government grant.A total of £600k has been allocated to the Egret’s Way but is unlikely to meet all the costs.

Cycle Seahaven chairman, Jamie Lynch said: “We are happy that the Park Authority is looking to promote cycling and give it the priority that is clearly needed in considering all transport options in the park area.

“A safe cycling route north from the coast for families, commuters and leisure cyclists is long overdue in order to avoid the perils of the A26 and C7 as well as linking up with the national cycling network.”

While the plan received broad support, Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club objected on the grounds the route across the club car park and down the driveway along the path to the river in Piddinghoe would present a safety hazard.

Piddinghoe Parish Council supported the proposal, but raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians in the village. The route will run from Ham Lane to the south of Lewes along the west bank of the Ouse, through Piddinghoe and to the south of Piddinghoe Lake to Elphick Road in Newhaven.