Planning application submitted for new restaurant and facilities at Newhaven beach

The plans include a restaurant, outdoor gym, children’s play area, toilets and open space at Newhaven’s West Quay.
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The planning application (LW/24/0051) proposes the demolition of existing structures, and erection of a single storey restaurant, together with splash pads, outdoor gym, children’s play areas, toilet and changing facilities, further informal open space and associated landscaping.

According to Lewes District Council’s planning statement: “The application seeks to develop an underutilised, brownfield site at West Quay, Newhaven, to deliver a restaurant and community facilities that will also re-invigorate the beach front and boost tourism in the area and which have secured funding through the Levelling Up Fund.

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“The proposals are landscape-led and seek to enhance this beautiful location. The Site has become neglected and detracts from the natural beauty and historic setting in with it sits. As such, the design references the magnificent chalk cliffs which frame the Site, and respect their status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Importantly, it also preserves the significance of Newhaven Fort and its environs, designated as a Scheduled Monument.”

Planning application submitted for new restaurant and facilities at Newhaven beachPlanning application submitted for new restaurant and facilities at Newhaven beach
Planning application submitted for new restaurant and facilities at Newhaven beach

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “I’m really pleased that this planning application has been submitted. There are so many exciting new plans for Newhaven that have either started or are in the pipeline. With our partners, we are bringing forward some landmark developments in the town that generations of residents will benefit from.”

The proposed restaurant provides indoor and outdoor dining, together with a hatch service and ancillary facilities. It is set on a raised terrace with a flexible area and gardens located to the south, which can double up as performance areas. Moving west, further amenity areas are found, comprising a flexible lawn space, children’s sand and splash pad areas and an outdoor gym. Changing and toilet facilities are also provided within a single storey building.

Part of the western area will be retained for ecological purposes, to facilitate translocation of slow worms and to incorporate habitat creation to meet biodiversity net gain requirements. Chalk walls and a biodiverse roof are also incorporated for biodiversity enrichment.

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Vehicle access would remain in the same location from Fort Road, but will be formalised to enable pedestrian and cycle access and servicing for vehicles. There is an extensive, existing, public car park to the south of the Site, accessed via a controlled kiosk, and it is proposed to mark out three disabled spaces.

The Council has secured Government funding for this project, under proposals to ‘level-up’ the regions, and marking the next and important phase of the regeneration of the Marina and West Beach area.

Local councillor James MacCleary said: "As a parent with young children I am particularly excited about the splash park. Alongside the upgraded play facilities at Fort Road Rec and the Fort itself we will have a fantastic offer for local children. For me it also represents another step closer to restoring public access to the sandy West Beach for which I will continue to campaign.”

The planning statement added: “There are obvious synergies between the proposed facilities, Newhaven Fort and the beachside to transform West Beach into a true destination within Newhaven. It will also rejuvenate this forlorn site, for the use of residents and visitors alike, with high quality facilities included to facilitate eating, play and exercise.”