Tide Mills will not be harmed by wind farm development, says port

Area of Tidemills to be used for wind farm equipment
Area of Tidemills to be used for wind farm equipment

Newhaven Port was this week reassuring residents that beauty spot Tide Mills would not be harmed by the development of the Rampion Offshore Wind farm.

An area of land west of Mill Drove and south of the creek, which has always been earmarked for port expansion, will be used to keep some of the equipment needed to build the wind farm.

Both the South Downs National Park and the Friends of Tide Mills said they wanted to ensure the nature reserve was protected.

Newhaven Port harbour master Dave Collins Williams said: “Historic Tide Mills will not, in any way, be affected by our plans.

“The port expansion area will be within the confines of Lewes District Council’s planning area designated for port expansion.

“A significant buffer zone will be established between the port area and the South Downs National Park, incorporating a protected nature reserve and a public access area.

“It is not planned to build any infrastructure on the land. It will be a lay-down area for the Rampion Wind farm components during the construction of the wind farm.”

A public exhibition about the plans will take place at The Hillcrest Centre from 2pm to 8pm on April 15.

Director of planning for the South Downs National Park Tim Slaney said: “The Rampion wind farm proposals would harm the landscape and cultural heritage of the South Downs National Park introducing 175 turbines into the iconic views from the Sussex Heritage Coast and cause large scale disruption to the landscape of the National Park through the construction of a 14km long and 30m wide cable corridor.

“The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), which attended 11 days of public examination and submitted in excess of 270 pages of evidence, recommended that the Secretary of State should refuse to grant permission to ensure that the landscape and cultural heritage of the National Park is conserved.

“The proposed works at Newhaven Port fall outside the National Park but SDNPA Officers are working with the developer to ensure that any development respects the setting of the National Park”.

Friends of Tide Mills chairman Jim Skinner said: “The Friends of Tide Mills main concerns will be to minimise the effect on Tide Mills as is, in particular loss of land available for public access. Our other concern is loss of habitat. This will be called for through mitigation measures, which Newhaven Port and Properties have indicated they are perfectly happy to do.”