Newhaven ‘gets things no other towns would accept’

Bird's eye view ... Newhaven Port
Bird's eye view ... Newhaven Port

“Anything no other town would accept ends up in Newhaven.”

That’s the view of campaigners who fear a scheme to build a medical waste incinerator as well as the proposed asphalt plant mean the town becomes a dumping ground for other towns’ rubbish.

Medipower of East Quay wants to operate an advanced gasification system; an incineration plant to dispose of non-hazardous medical waste.

The plant could burn 12 tonnes of medical waste a day delivering electrical and thermal energy to the port authority and local companies.

Daniele de Winter, of East Dean, said: “There is reliable evidence exhaust gases from incinerating hazardous medical waste can be both toxic and carcinogenic. We must create jobs and boost the local economy in ways that preserve the environment, improve quality of life, and avoid toxic installations that risk destroying it. It looks as if the council is trying to sneak this terrifying project by us while everyone is on holiday.”

She notes the closing date for comments is January 9.

This plan comes on top of an application on the drawing board to build a new asphalt plant on a two acre site north of the swing bridge, opposed by many including local MP Maria Caulfield. And adding to their concerns is the plan for a new port access road extension planned by East Sussex County Council.

Geoff King of Seaford said: “This road apparently goes nowhere but will end in a roundabout which, we fear, is designed to deliver feeder access to both these plants and more.

“County continues to renew this application and a bridge over the railway and creek to Tide Mills, an area of nature conservation and a potential SSSI. I have it on good authority that the French owners of Newhaven Harbour are ambivalent about this road and we question the council’s insistence on building it. Why spend millions of taxpayers’ money on a project no-one wants or needs?”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The Newhaven Port Access Road is a hugely important scheme which will open up land already allocated for development and play a major role in boosting economic growth by creating jobs for people in the Newhaven area.

“The project, an integral part of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone backed by local authorities and local enterprise partnerships, was approved years ago.

“The only outstanding planning matter relates to detail of the railway bridge which is already approved in principle. Alternative routes have been looked at over the years but none delivered the full benefits this does in opening up employment space, providing new access to the port and diverting traffic away from Railway Road and Beach Road.

“Mitigation for the effects of the road was incorporated in the Ouse Estuary project but as this work was done several years ago when construction on the scheme first began, we’ve instructed ecologists to look at what additional mitigation measures might be required.”