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FRIENDS OF TIDE MILLS SEEK SUPPORT

October 3rd, 2018.

Geoff King writes: 

Friends of Tide Mills Need Your Support with the latest threat to the area of Tide Mills closest to Newhaven Harbour. - 
The first thing to stress is that the whole of Tide Mills was originally classified as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI), in fact the Environment Agency did consider a designation of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) but never implemented that designation. More recently Tide Mills was redesignated as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS).

For very many years Tide Mills has been earmarked as Port Expansion Land but there has been little change on the ground as the only way to access the land was either through the harbour or from the Buckle by Seaford Sailing Club. Although there is the level crossing at the old Tide Mills Village this is only really viable as a pedestrian access point.

Following the Newhaven Port and Properties (NPP) planning permission of 2015 (LW/15/0034) for harbour expansion to the south of the existing harbour towards the East Arm, for which work on that site has recently commenced, the area of Tide Mills east of the harbour going towards the old Tide Mills Village and the South Downs National Park boundary was identified for mitigation purposes for the loss of the land south of the harbour and was identified as a nature reserve and Wildlife Hibernation Structures were put in place on that land.

Very recently the threat to this part of Tide Mills had increased significantly with East Sussex County Council securing the government funding needed to build the very controversial Port Access Road and Bridge over the Railway Line and Mill Creek and onto Tide Mills. This road and bridge will open up this land to possible development.

Lewes District Council has launched a public consultation on the future plans for the Lewes district. This consultation considers sites the council consider suitable for industry and/or housing.

The site under consideration in Newhaven is the western end of Tide Mills adjacent to the eastern boundary of Newhaven Harbour. This is the area of Tide Mills that will become accessible to traffic once the Newhaven Port Access Road and Bridge over the railway line and Mill Creek is completed

This site is in addition to the area of Tide Mills adjacent to the East Arm that Newhaven Port and Properties already have planning permission for and that they have just started work on.

There is unfortunately little that can be done to save the area of Tide Mills adjacent to the East Arm as that area of Tide Mills already has planning permission for port expansion. Similarly there is little that can be done to save the area of Tide Mills adjacent to the harbour boundary fence just south of Mill Creek as that area already has planning permission for the Newhaven Port Access Road and Bridge.

So this public consultation is concerned with the remaining part of Tide Mills from the Newhaven Harbour boundary fence eastward to the South Downs National Park boundary which is very close to the old Tide Mills village ruins.

This public consultation may be the only opportunity to let Lewes District Council know how people feel about the possible destruction of our coastline and the western end of Seaford Bay.

The consultation document can be viewed at:
Lewes District Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies DPD - Pre-Submission version - Lewes and Eastbourne Planning Policy Consultations

and there is a Comments Box at the end of that page.

We are the custodian of our local environment and this is our opportunity to try and save our coastline and the western end of Seaford Bay for future generations.

It is hoped that everyone will take a little time to make a comment and let Lewes District Council know just how much our local environment, our coastline and Tide Mills is valued.

Thank you for your support in our efforts to save what will be left of Tide Mills after the harbour expansion works currently under way to the south of the harbour towards the East Arm and the East Sussex County Council plan for the Road and Bridge over the Railway Line and Mill Creek and onto Tide Mills are completed.

Any further loss of land at Tide Mills would have a catastrophic effect on the western end of Seaford Bay and must be resisted. To that end the petition will remain open for further signatures at Save the Western End of Tide Mills and Seaford Bay

Please let Lewes District Council know your views about including this land on Tide Mills as a potential development site in the latest draft version of the Lewes District Council Local Plan and please sign and share the petition.

Newhaven Town Council are due to discuss the Tide Mills Local Development Plan on 16th October at Meeching Hall, Fort Road from 7.15, it would be great if people could attend to voice their concerns

Geoff King