PLANS to revitalise the Railway Quarter in Newhaven were welcomed by the mayor of Newhaven, Chamber of Commerce and MP Norman Baker.
Developers announced an ambitious scheme to restore the listed marine workshops, build a supermarket and create a riverside boardwalk.
It is one of several exciting proposals, including the wind farm, Eastside and port masterplan, which could help reverse its decline.
Newhaven mayor Steve Saunders said: “This area has been left to fall into disrepair for too long and the ambitious plans put forward include some essential enabling works and the inclusion of the restoration of marine and carpenters’ workshops.
“The main (listed) buildings will remain under the plans. We have been asked to support these initial proposals in order to tidy the site and make it more attractive to potential investors in whatever the final scheme is for the area.
“It is hoped that the regeneration of the port can go forward soon and the town council are working hard on the town’s behalf, with our MP Norman Baker, NPP and their partners to try and ensure that Newhaven is the site chosen for the assembly and future maintenance of the proposed offshore wind farm.”
President of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce, Paul Boswell, said “These are welcome ideas for the town. Any proposal which increases the potential for trade in Newhaven is very welcome.
“I am pleased that the developers have considered the High Street shopping area in their plans – it is important to link all the retail areas into a cohesive whole. I am sure that all the members of the Chamber as well as other businesses around the town look forward to this project moving forward.”
The plans come as Newhaven MP Norman Baker has taken steps to organise a high level stakeholder meeting to discuss the future regeneration of the town, which will take place in early December.
Mr Baker said: “Newhaven has had a tough time in recent years with East Sussex County Council pushing ahead with the construction of the incinerator, despite huge local opposition. However, I have always believed that the town has great potential and it is about time that Newhaven received the right sort of investment, the type of investment that can create jobs, businesses and better infrastructure. Things are looking positive.”
Plans for the Railway Quarter were submitted by Arrowcroft and RBS through its subsidiary West Register Property Investments.
They have put in an outline planning application to Lewes District Council for a mixed use development.
They want to use the restored workshops to provide space for restaurants, cafes, shops, and civic uses, restore the carpenters’ workshop to provide a new ferry terminal and build a new riverside boardwalk.
The developers want to renovate the UK Border Agency and Customs building and a new train/bus/taxi transport interchange.
The riverside would be opened to the public and provide additional mooring facilities for boats and a riverside boardwalk would replace the existing wooden quay and connect the ferry terminal, renovated workshops and supermarket to the swing bridge.
Improved facilities for ferry users would include a new reception area replacing the existing terminal building, which would be demolished, a filling station, new parking facilities for embarking and disembarking vehicles.
The supermarket would be integrated with the town centre and Denton Island, which are only a 200 metre walk away.
Tesco has indicated it would be interested in operating the supermarket and filling station, which would be between the swing bridge and Newhaven Town Station.
The supermarket is intended to be a landmark building recognising the prominence and marine heritage of the site. It would include a two storey glass atrium entrance and a cafe overlooking the river.
A new transport interchange would be built next to the station, providing improved stopping and turning facilities for buses and taxis.
Arrowcroft said if the outline application were approved it would undertake a full public consultation about the detailed design for Railway Quay.