Not that many empty Newhaven shops

Regarding the proposed conversion of the old NatWest Bank Building into residential accommodation, I must take issue with Mr J Farhoumand, the applicant, when he says that over the past 18 months there has regularly been 15 to 20 empty ground floor properties in Newhaven High Street. This is simply not the case!

At present there are only five empty premises in the High Street (soon to be six with the closure of HSBC) with a further three in Newhaven Square, but it is not unusual for a few shops to be vacant at any time, as this allows for new businesses to open.

However, the previous conversions of other retail units in the High Street, Bridge Street and Meeching Road, has meant the loss of potential new businesses opening and this is the main reason why the proposed conversion of the whole of 
No 5 High Street should not be allowed. There is no reason why the upper floors shouldn’t be converted into flats, particularly as there is ample parking to the rear of the building, just not the ground floor.

M C Young,

Newhaven