Video: warm welcome for plans for Parker Pen site in Newhaven

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A plan to replace the empty Parker Pen factory in Newhaven with homes and a community centre was broadly welcomed at a public exhibition.

Residents were able to view the plans and put questions to the architectural firm behind the scheme.

Development plan exhibition for Parker Pen site, Newhaven.

Development plan exhibition for Parker Pen site, Newhaven.

However some residents did raise concerns about flooding and parking problems in the area.

Newhaven Town councillor Graham Amy, whose family originated from Eastside, said: “While very much welcoming the regeneration of the Parker Pen site, I am concerned about the density of the housing now being planned for the whole of this area and would urge the planners to look very seriously at issues such as parking and traffic.

“I am also concerned that while rightly protecting this scheme and the Barratts development from flooding, that we do not exacerbate the flood problem for the existing houses in the area.

“I hope that given the recent flooding at Eastside that the Environment Agency, NPP and Network Rail, look at ways to solve the flooding which emanated from the river overtopping from both the north and the south of the development area.”

Eastside resident Fran Lewis, 64, of Laughton Road, said: “I love the idea of this. It will bring people into our community.

“At the moment there are only about 200 people living on Eastside.

“A lot of people could benefit from this.”

But Reg Revel, 56, from Chapel Street, said: “It will be a miracle if it gets built.

“I’ll believe it when I see it, with all the promises about Railway Quay being made and it never happened.

“We’ve heard all this before.”

But Tom Creek, 39, from Transit Road, said: “It’s good news I think that they are going to do something with Parker Pen.

“It will be a change from seeing it empty. Anything to revive that particular area, which is a bit run down, has got to be a good thing, if they’re going to be doing something about the flood defences.”

Architect John McLean,from Morgan Carn Partnership, said: “Lots of old and new faces turned up and we think that the total number may have topped 100.

“We were particularly pleased to see so many people from the Eastside.

“As you know, we were keen to hear what local people thought about our initial ideas and concepts in order for us to take on their comments wherever we can. Generally people were pleased that something is happening, and supportive of housing led regeneration.”

John McLean from Morgan Carn Partnership said residents were interested in a larger recreation ground. They were concerned about the tidal flooding in December and wanted to know how they would benefit from the developer’s aim of delivering a strategic flood defence to the north of the town.

The next step will be to consider the comments from residents, discuss them with the town and district councils and then submit an outline planning application, followed by another public consultation. Residents were concerned that the site had been redundant and in decline since the Parker Pen factory closed.