Last chance to save Telscombe Cliffs walkway

We have until Tuesday, August 13, to save a precious asset in Telscombe Cliffs.

Forty years ago, the Brighton Water Board built a sewerage works at Portobello in Telcombe Cliffs.

In doing so, they cut off (without planning permission) a public right of way along the cliff tops (Footpath 12a), forcing walkers onto the pavement along the A259 to breathe in exhaust fumes – hardly a pleasant coastal experience.

Southern Water (which the Brighton Water Board became on privatisation of the water companies in the late 1980s) has now applied officially to permanently re-route the public right of way, a diversion the applicant call it – only it is not. It is an extinquishment, pure and simple – as a diversion must preserve the maritime experience as currently enjoyed by users of the footpath – as per the criteria laid out in Section out in Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 .

The clifftop walk from Newhaven to Brighton is uninterrupted save for this stretch of the route.

It attracts walkers from far and wide, who contribute to the local economy. It is enjoyed by local families and by dog walkers. At a time that obesity rates are increasing, we should be preserving our natural walkways to encourage good health.

The Meridian Branch Labour Party calls on Southern Water to drop its application and urges locals and interested parties to send their objections, in writing, to Sanaan Ornsby, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UE, ref: Highways Act 1980 s119 - Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath Telscombe 12a (part) or to sign the e-petition at

Nicky Easton

Meridian Branch Labour Party