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Leisure Development Proposed for Newhaven’s West Beach Car Park

A new planning application has been submitted to Lewes District Council for the redevelopment of the West Beach car park in Newhaven, signaling potential enhancements and new amenities for the local community and visitors. The application, identified as LW/24/0051, proposes the demolition of existing structures to make way for a single-story restaurant, splash pads, an outdoor gym, children’s play areas, and toilet and changing facilities, along with further informal open spaces and associated landscaping at the West Pier Amusement Arcade on Fort Road, Newhaven, East Sussex.

On-going construction of the Promenade – c.1880 Newhaven
On-going construction of the Promenade Newhaven – c.1880

The ambitious project aims to breathe new life into the area, offering a variety of recreational and dining options that cater to all ages. The proposed development represents a significant investment in Newhaven’s leisure and tourism infrastructure, potentially attracting more visitors to the area and boosting the local economy.

Meanwhile, questions have resurfaced regarding the reopening of Newhaven’s sandy beach, closed since 2008 after Newhaven Port and Properties declared it unsafe. The closure has been a contentious issue, with several failed attempts to reopen the beach to the public. The struggle culminated in a legal battle that reached the Supreme Court in 2013, where Newhaven Town Council and East Sussex County Council fought for the beach to be granted village green status. However, the Supreme Court ruled that such a designation would interfere with the harbour authority’s ability to perform its statutory functions, leaving the beach closed.

Councillor Sean MacLeod recently addressed the ongoing debate over the beach’s future on social media, stating, “I can’t answer on the sandy beach questions, I understand talks are still ongoing between the beach owners and Lewes DC, but I’m limited on information on that one.” The statement highlights the ongoing negotiations and the complex legal and administrative challenges involved in reopening the beach.

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