Cast your eye over Newhaven

After reading your Newhaven edition of the Sussex Express, on Friday 23rd September 2011, I just had to write to you with my thoughts and comments. I found a wonderful aerial photograph of Lewes.

It’s headed ‘EYE IN THE SKY OVER LEWES’, and how wonderful it looks.

The ESCC certainly look after the County Town of Lewes, situated in the heart of the Sussex countryside. They have gone to great lengths not to let anyone spoil it for them.

Why don’t you put a full page picture of Newhaven in your next edition to show what the ESCC has done to this town, I think that would be more interesting, although I very much doubt they would agree.

I live in Newhaven and have lived here for nearly sixty years and I have seen so many sad, degrading changes over the years.

Starting with the ‘Ring Road’ that was introduced, so they say, to take the traffic out of the town.

Instead, it killed the town and its character by demolishing most of the interesting buildings on the waters edge that could have been renovated and put to very good use.

An example of this can be seen at Lewes, where they saw that a bypass is better than demolishing half the town.

It strikes me that what was once a thriving Town and Harbour has all gone to ruin. Nowadays, the people that live here seem to get the feeling that the ESCC puts all their unwanted projects into this town.

The latest, of course is the Incinerator! Yes, we all protested about it, but they just went ahead and dumped it here anyway.

Then, to add insult to injury earlier this year the chairman of the ESCC made an announcement in the newspaper of how proud he was of it.

Needless to say there was no mention of the fact that he lives many, many miles away from here, and is not affected by it, at all. That certainly got everyone’s back up, regrettably we have to look at it every day towering up over our heads from every angle of the town and its surrounding areas.

I look at this blot on the landscape every day as it stands high at the end of my road, but I love it when there is fog in the morning, as it reminds me of the good old days when you knew that you could see the green hills and beyond once the mist had risen, sadly not any more.

Now take a look at Newhaven Harbour. When the cross channel ferry boat sails into Newhaven from Dieppe, the first thing the passengers see as the boat docks, is the dilapidated Port with the rusty scrap metal piled up on the jetty. I’m sure the passengers on board cannot wait to get off the ship and get out of Newhaven, and make their way to other destinations to do there shopping, as there is nothing for them here. What a shock for them after leaving the lovely Port and Town of Dieppe, bustling with life and interest.

Now look at the Town itself. When you walk up the high street, you see a few shops that are trying to survive, and lots of closed businesses. A number of the banks have moved out and gone elsewhere.

The town’s decline has been accelerated by the lack of free parking.

People believe that if there had been ample Free parking for at least an hour, the Town might have survived. I

The Beach, I remember this well, and this used to be a really nice place for people to go. There was a small snack bar and amusements for the children, also it was, wait for it, FREE to park! Wow!

Then sadly they closed it off, dumped a load of unwanted industrial bits and pieces there, and on top of all that, you have to pay a parking fee of £2, what an insult!

It seems the French who now own the port have expressed an interest in developing the outer harbour to allow for a larger and faster ferry service. The proposals were on show last year at an exhibition in Dieppe. Strange there was no mention of that over here. What a surprise!

Sink one for Sussex, another project that seems to have disappeared into the sea mist that could have possibly generated business for this town. I wonder what’s happening there? Has the project sunk or what, don’t tell me, its going somewhere else! When you look at Seaford, there is Free parking on the sea front and the town is always bustling with people shopping, despite the recession. Seaford’s got so much more to offer and having said that, on the front page of your newspaper there is a report about their new Library. After campaigning they are a step closer to getting a £6 million brand new Library and complex. Well done to Seaford.

As for Newhaven, I don’t think they would even think twice about doing anything like that here, although we just happen to have an excellent site for something of that size, slap bang in the middle of the town on the demolished site of the old ‘Saxhome House’. This was demolished some years ago and just left as an empty site! Oops! They could have put that to good use by allowing Free Parking there. That’s a good idea!

I was listening to Newhaven’s new Mayor Steve Saunders, speaking on Seahaven FM, giving his views as he takes office for the year. As a local person, brought up in this community, he spoke so highly of Newhaven and what he would like to see done here. If only the ESCC will listen to him and take on board his recommendations, we might just see the start of some improvement to this town. Tom Bonnor

Valley Road,