February is underway and there’s still no sign that Round Table Entertainments’ now well overdue formal public consultation process is about to start any time soon. Round Table are now projecting that their high street ‘Water park information centre’ will be open mid-March, months after originally scheduled.
Missing their first public deadline can only be seen as a P.R. disaster for Round Table and begs the question, why are we waiting?
Could it be because…
1. The traffic issues, which are absolutely critical to the success of the project, have not yet been addressed by Round Table and they have made little progress with the Highways Agency (who control the A26/A27) or Network Rail, who control all matters on over or around the rail bed?
2. Round Table have not yet even discussed the possibility of a link road between the A26 and C7 with ESCC Highways, who would presumably have extreme reservations about any potential increase in the volume of traffic on the C7?
3. Round Table’s plans for a fixed bridge crossing at low height is in conflict with the Ouse Navigation Act and does not account for the navigable rights on the Ouse (even Southease bridge could be opened, albeit slowly, if required)?
4. The proposed site presents Round Table with insurmountable engineering challenges? They are apparently taking a ‘long hard look’ at these at the moment.
5. Round Table have realised that their proposed location for the Water Park was designated a Site of Nature Conservation of Importance (SNCI) in 1991 and have decided to target a more appropriate place for it?
6. Someone somewhere has heeded the findings in a recent report commissioned by Newhaven Strategic Network (which comprises of a range of partners including Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council): “One of the key messages… is that there is no “silver bullet” that will make Newhaven a more prosperous, sustainable place; rather, a combination of coordinated actions will be required over a long period.” BBP Regeneration ‘Physical Development Vision for Newhaven Stage 2’?
Or is it a combination of all of these factors?