Not political, just the facts

I’d like to respond to Anne Marr’s letter of April 6, where she expressed her support for Newhaven’s anger over ESCC’s approval of the plans to build a Tarmac plant on the North Quay, but accused me of making political capital out of the situation.

Indeed, if my stating that a Tory-led County Council administration has both recommended to Conway that they site their plant in Newhaven, rather than anywhere else in the county and then passed the proposals with no financial reparations for the local community, I can only apologise for my apparent mistake. However, I’m afraid that isn’t a political statement, they are the facts.

If the Labour members of the Committee had chosen to abstain from the vote (as one Lib Dem member did), it would have at least have shown that they were concerned at the officers’ recommendations to approve and that they were unsettled by the valid concerns for the health and well-being of our residents. Darren Grover did vote against it and Sarah Osborne (our other County Councillor) lobbied hard for it to be thrown out.

I am glad that Labour supporters are allegedly joining with Newhaven Town Councillors (Tory and Lib. Dem.) and Lewes District Planning Committee, in their objections to the Brett Aggregates application for the East Quay and Tide Mill site. Together with CAN (Community Action Newhaven) and the huge number of local people that are protesting hard, in an effort to make themselves heard, we only hope that we can stop another violation of our community.

Maria Caulfield MP has gone on record regarding her objections to both applications and (despite this not evidenced over the Conway application) I’d like to think her influence with Tory colleagues, carries some weight over the Brett Concrete plant.

If the Brett proposals are thrown out, I won’t be claiming the credit and neither will my colleagues in the Lib Dems. It will be a notable victory for common sense, our community and the efforts of all the like-minded groups and individuals, that have had the courage to stand up to what they believe in.

In the meantime, Newhaven Town Councillors are continuing to demand that the County Planning Authority looks again at the conditions imposed on Conway, as part of their approval for the asphalt plant and are considering a Judicial review of that decision, as well as insisting on a proportionate financial package for the detrimental effects on the community of Newhaven.

Cllr Steve Saunders

Newhaven Town and Lewes District Councillor -

Newhaven Valley Ward