Planning madness

Having recently been burdened with planning consent for a fourth supermarket in Newhaven, we now find that consideration is being given to the building of a hotel on the valuable public resource of Lewes Road recreation ground.

Surely a much better location exists for a hotel on the brownfield Railway Quay site adjacent to the swing bridge which was recently refused planning consent for Tesco? Its proximity to the beleaguered town centre and transport services, as well as being on the site of the ferry terminal must surely create better customer demand as well as create much needed employment opportunities.

The existing road infrastructure should be able to deal with a smaller increase in traffic loads, with far smaller car parking requirements than a supermarket. Even the negative and unhelpful Highways Department of East Sussex County Council (who are largely responsible for Newhaven’s catastrophic road network) could surely have no objection to such a development.

A sympathetically designed hotel could be the centrepiece of a mixed development to create new public access to the riverside and facilities such as bars, restaurants and cultural amenities, as well as integrating the Victorian listed workshop buildings. An enlightened developer could provide true value to this most prominent location, creating a catalyst for real change and a potential exciting uplift in fortunes for the beleaguered centre of Newhaven. As a hotel guest, I would much rather look out across an enlivened working harbour within walking distance of other attractions and facilities, than gazing at the monstrous incinerator.

Perhaps this could be the opportunity Phil Temmerman of Avalon Newhaven LLP (the developers of the proposed Asda/ Barratt Eastside project) is looking for to allow him to realise his publicly declared intent to redevelop Railway Quay for the benefit of the people of Newhaven?

Steve St Clair, Newhaven