News 2004 to 2009


Newhaven News January to December 2009

December 2009

Following on from the donation Friends of Tide Mills received in October it is reported that they have now persuaded British Rail to install self-closing gates at the level crossing.  The intention is to make the area more accessible to disabled people and others who find the present gates difficult or impossible to negotiate. 

A snowfall in the middle of the month  caused the usual transport chaos but by Christmas the roads and pavement had returned to near normal.

November 2009

A plaque commemorating the presence of Royal Navy Coastal Forces in Newhaven Harbour during World War II was unveiled at the Fort. A Sussex Express report included a quote by Captain Trevor Robotham in which he said “Coastal Forces craft were of wooden construction, heavily loaded with high-octane fuel and ammunition, which was a very lethal cocktail.”

October 2009

The UK Border Agency frustrated an attempt to smuggle into the country at Newhaven five million cigarettes discovered on a lorry crossing by the ferry service from Dieppe.

The Friends of Tide Mills have received  £1000 from Newhaven Town Council towards a project to improve access to the Tide Mills site at the railway level crossing.

September 2009

The Youth “drop-in” service run by Newhaven Community Development Association has been awarded nearly £200,000 by the “Big Lottery Fund”

Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd, announced that they had plans to develop a manufacturing hub for offshore wind industry renewables within the port.  Norman Baker seemed pleased with the idea but no details were released to allow wider evaluation of the merits.

Asda unveiled plans to build a 40000 sq.ft. supermarket in Newhaven on unused Eastside land in conjunction with homes, business units and a hotel.

A Public Inquiry will be held to evaluate the claim for Newhaven West Beach to be designated Village Green status. It is expected to be held before the year end

August 2009

MP Norman Baker declared Newhaven to be the worst hit by the recession of anywhere in his  constituency. A Multi Agency task force plans to convene in September in an attempt to address this problem.

Due to unprecedented demand the Newhaven Job Centre, threatened with closure in September 2006, is to be expanded.

July 2009

Children and parents marched to Newhaven’s West Beach adding their voices to have this highly valued amenity reopened to the public.  Particularly during the school summer holidays this sandy beach will be sorely missed both by local youngsters and others from further afield

The US owners of Parker Pen announced their proposal to close the Newhaven factory during 2010.  After a Management Buyout and subsequent changes of ownership it looks as though this well-known manufacturing company will finally disappear from the town. Successful high profile products in past years were the Parker 51 fountain pen and the catchilly-named Quink ink.

June 2009

The annual Fish Festival took place as usual despite the demise of sponsor Oakdene Homes. Developer of the controversial Waste Incinerator, Veolia, stepped in to replace them.

Sussex Express reported that a basement for the waste incinerator had been completed underwater then floated and winched into position at the North Quay site.

May 2009

Swine flu made its presence felt in Newhaven causing the temporary closure of the Quayside Medical Centre for cleaning after treatment there of one person suspected of having the virus.

Entering the debate on MPs’ expenses causing such a furore nationally, Lewes MP Norman Baker was quoted as saying he had applied to the Fees Office for a bike under his “London Living Allowance” - but was turned down.  Now Norman, was this for a new bike, or a second-hand one - and what was going to happen to it after you left the Westminster arena?

An idea for a Riverside Park on land next to the River Ouse has been included on a draft plan for the site released by ESCC.  It is stressed that these are “only initial ideas for discussion.”  Surely they can’t think that Newhaven would actually expect it to happen.

April 2009

Newhaven MP Norman Baker and South East MEP Sharon Bowles have jointly asked the European Commission to look at certain legal issues relating to the proposed Waste Incinerator. They are contending that Councils promoting this scheme broke competition law by not putting the contract out to tender. 

Newhaven Port & Properties are said to have threatened closure of Newhaven Port to ferry and other commercial uses if the Town won the right to designate West Beach as having Village Green status.

March 2009

Shop vacancies running at 20%, said to be amongst the highest in the UK, prompted Newhaven Chamber of Commerce to call a traders’ meeting at a High Street venue to discuss the situation.

With their usual vessel undergoing refit, Newhaven Lifeboat carried on rescuing using RNLB Volunteer Spirit borrowed from Plymouth.

Sussex Police have given £1000 for use on repairs to the Newhaven Coastwatch Station.  This donation is particularly welcome as brickwork on the structure built in 1960 needs urgent attention.

The controversial waste incinerator moved forward another step when the Environment Agency issued a Pollution Prevention and Control Permit which allows the project to proceed and sets out public health control conditions

February 2009

Sainsbury are reported to have submitted plans to extend their Drove Road supermarket sales area from 35000 to 56000 square feet.

Work began on a state of the art play area located at Denton Road costing £80000, designed in consultation with parents and children.

January 2009

A Russian ship Sinegorsk shed its load of timber during rough seas 14 miles off Beachy Head. Coincidentally this was on the first anniversary of the day that Ice Prince sank off the Dorset coast distributing masses of timber along Southern Counties beaches.

The national financial mayhem has claimed  Newhaven’s most prominent property development company as a victim. AIM listed Oakdene Homes plc has been forced into administration. The company has extensive plans in existence to continue its impressive development of the West Bank of the Ouse with more still on the Eastern side.  Administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers are said to be intending a sale of the company’s assets rather than a sale of the company as an entity.

The offshore wind farm project announced in June 2008 attracted some media attention when the Crown Estates, who own the seabed, released maps placing the power plant at a point directly south of Bolney where there is apparently a major electrical substation. However planned construction is not intended to happen before 2014. 

A  party with free-entry, music and food was arranged at Newhaven Fort aiming to raise support for the plan to claim village green status for the West Beach

Newhaven News January to December 2008

December 2008

Once again the ferry link between Newhaven and Dieppe is under threat with LD Lines curious announcement that its continuance is dependent upon the success of a new LD Lines route from Dover to Dieppe.  Although one would expect this second route to draw trade away from Newhaven, CEO Pierre Gehanne is quoted as  having said it is necessary so as to subsidise the loss-making Newhaven route thereby enabling it to carry on. What’s French for pull the other one, Pierre?

November 2008

Newhaven Mayor Graham Amy helped to raise over £5000 for Mount Pleasant based Searchlight Home by holding a charity dinner and auction for their benefit.  The money is intended to go towards the £45000 required for a new minibus.

ESCC issued a Press Release indicating their hostility to plans by Newhaven Port & Properties to allow parking for HGVs on land adjacent to Newhaven Town railway station. ESCC had earmarked the space as a transport interface to allow improved transfer facilities for passengers between trains and road transport.

October 2008

Part of the Newhaven-Brighton bus corridor came into operation and readers’ complaints in the Argus became more about accident near-misses than delays. Work on the scheme continues at many points and the road signs change very frequently - users beware.  The B & H bus company issued a detailed timetable claiming travellers from Newhaven could reach Central Brighton in 23 minutes.

September 2008

More than 1000 residents responded with anecdotes supporting their use of Newhaven Beach over the last 20 years and plans to have this designated as a Village Green are expected to be lodged with ESCC during this month.

MP Norman Baker is attempting to force a formal investigation into the County Councils financial handling of the waste incinerator contract with Veolia.

August 2008

A meeting at St. Michael’s church attracted more than 150 people to discuss and approve an attempt to have Newhaven Beach designated a Village Green.  Sussex Express covered the event in depth and even included a neat video clip of residents’ views on their website.

Port immigration officers discovered 24 Chinese nationals, including two children, suffering badly from lack of ventilation in the back of a van attempting to smuggle them into the country. 

The restoration of Tideway School following a serious arson attack in 2005, is now expected to be completed early in 2009

July 2008

The Estonian captain in charge of a cargo ship entering Newhaven Port, created legal history when he was successfully charged with drunk driving under the Road Traffic Act. He said he had consumed beer gin and rum and admitted refusing to take a breath test.

The steps to West Beach remain closed as does the Harbour Arm causing much frustration to both local people and visitors.  Newhaven Town Council has come up with the novel approach of attempting to have the Beach designated as a Village Green which would, according to the lawyers, bring an obligation to embark on repairs. Well - if you can charge a sailor under the Road Traffic Act - why not? Who on earth could wish to live anywhere else than this amazing Port!  Newhaven Town Council website gives details of this initiative.

It looks as though ferry Seven Sisters has done the West Bank area a huge favour by seriously damaging the piling just north of the former harbour control building in February this year.  Extensive work to replace the timber is nearing completion.(
see Gallery for Photos) Downsides are that the old rusty railing has been put back in place on the new wood and unsightly fences have been erected around the river access steps and the most attractive little lamp house.  No doubt these fences will all be left in place on the West Bank, which could, very credibly, be described as a Village Green, to enhance the first view of England for visitors to the Port immediately after they pass the heavily barricaded redundant control building.

The charity Missing People made a fresh appeal to the public in an attempt to identify the body of a man washed up on Newhaven’s West Beach in July 2002.  He appeared to have been between 40 and 60 years old and is believed to have been in the sea for about 10 days. Anyone with possible information was asked to visit website missingpeople.org.uk to make contact.   

The waste incinerator saga enjoyed a brief hearing in the High Court.  The decision by Justice Sullivan to approve the highly contentious scheme triggered direct action by protesters, some of whom climbed cranes on the site while others super-glued themselves to the road.  A number of arrests were made following the disturbance.  No doubt this fight against steep odds will continue but unfortunately Newhaven long ago achieved Grand Dumping Ground Status - a cachet very hard to lose. It has some budding rivals now though, like Peacehaven, Falmer and Sheepcote Valley.

The Newhaven-Brighton Bus Corridor is growing steadily along with related difficulties on this busy road.  The Argus letters page is regularly choked with observations on this topic and provide excellent entertainment.

June 2008

MV Balmoral, built in 1949 and now preserved and run by a charity, paid an unexpected visit to Newhaven. (see Gallery for Photos) The ship was scheduled to commence from Eastbourne a day excursion round the Sussex and Kent coastline then up the Thames to Tower Bridge. A very strong sou-westerly wind on the day prevented the vessel from using Sovereign Harbour and passengers boarded instead from the quay alongside Fisher’s warehouse just south of Newhaven’s scrap metal feature.  The delayed departure and extra sailing distance, aggravated by a coach hiccup at Tower Bridge, resulted in many passengers returning to Eastbourne well after midnight but it was an enterprising quick-fix none-the-less.

Record crowds turned out for the fifth year of Newhaven’s Fish Festival which is proving to be a well-looked-forward-to event in the town..

Newhaven Harbourmaster Doug Nye is said to be considering prosecution of a man thought to have been injured “Tombstoning.” He was rescued by the lifeboat crew after being found floating near the Harbour Arm.

The Department of Transport released figures for 2007 indicating that sea passengers using the Newhaven Ferry routes almost doubled over the two years since 2005 to 329000.

Part of Fort Road descended into a substantial hole right in the middle of the carriageway. Diversions were quickly put in place and the road was closed for several days while repairs were carried out. (
see Gallery for Photos)

A ton of wood chippings, in place for safety reasons in a play area for children at Denton Recreation Ground, have been stolen.  Town Council Clerk Ian Everest is quoted as saying “It is quite unbelievable.”

A 30-mile stretch of the English Channel, at least 5 miles offshore along the coast between Worthing and Seaford, has been identified as a prime location for the construction of Wind Turbines. The intention is to build several hundred turbines which could be up to 175 metres high. MP Norman Baker is quoted to be in favour, in principle, provided the various port operations at Newhaven are not adversely affected.

May 2008

The Newhaven Enterprise Centre newly built on Denton Island was officially opened offering small workshop units, studios and offices. The reporting coverage was liberally sprinkled with words like “excellent rating for sustainability”, “featuring grey water recycling and photovoltaic panels” and “achieving a low-carbon development” so it must tick all the boxes.

Approving Phase 3 of Oakdene Homes Riverside development, which includes Newhaven Marina, Lewes District Council say that this would bring substantial economic benefit to the town.  Phase 2 is now said to be almost complete although some of the surrounding fences are still in place. There has been no indication yet of a credit crunch impact on any of these proposals.

April 2008

Following a decision by the Information Commissioners, Veolia will be obliged to release into the public domain details of its environmental assessments relating to the proposed Waste Incinerator.

Work on the South Coast Bus Corridor caused such serious traffic delays between Rottingdean and Peacehaven that planners were  persuaded to rethink and alter the procedures.

March 2008

It has been reported that negotiations between NPP and Oakdene Homes who have expressed a wish to buy Newhaven Port have been halted for a period of six months pending investigation of the harbour’s maintenance needs.

Once again the steps to Newhaven’s West Beach have been blocked off denying public access to this facility so popular with local families.

February 2008

After a long period of uncertainty and much discussion The Leader reports that Newhaven Job Centre will remain open.

A wave rider buoy has been moored in Seaford Bay to transmit data such as wave height and direction to the National Oceanographic Centre at Southampton University via a monitoring station on the clifftop at Newhaven Fort.

Local historian Peter Bailey received an MBE in the New Year honours list and actually received his award in the Newhaven Museum at Paradise Park.

Car ferry Seven Sisters collided with the riverside bank defences when leaving for Le Havre in bad weather, severely damaging the wooden piling.  The ship completed its journey to Le Havre, proceeded then to Dunkirk for repairs and soon returned to service. (
see Gallery for Photos)

Newhaven’s contentious Waste Incinerator topic which had smouldered away for some time burst into flames again.  Aggregate Industries agreed to close their building supplies operation and vacate land required for the incinerator thus negating the need for a compulsory purchase order, Newhaven Town Council agreed to spend more than £24000 to help continue fighting the project, Lewes MP Norman Baker was cleared by the Parliamentary Commissioner of breaching the House of Commons Code of Conduct by revealing to the Argus information regarding the escalating cost and Lewes LibDems released a four-page paper setting out in detail the history and arguments relating to this proposal.

January 2008

Developer Sign of Four are reported to be planning an eight storey complex in Bridge Street which it claims would regenerate that part of the Town Centre. The company had plans for an 18 storey building turned down in 2003.

Oakdene Homes has submitted two planning applications housing development in Newhaven. One is for Phase 3 of the West Quay flats and houses around the Marina area with related commercial development and the other is well away from their recent riverside sites at Augustfelds off the Brighton Road.  Plans were displayed at a Public Meeting the Hillcrest Centre.  It is thought that the Town Council will support the Marina proposal but oppose Augustfields.

Transmanche Ferries announced plans to improve the port and terminal building and alter the foot passenger access over the next two years.  

Newhaven News January to December 2007

December 2007

Investigations by Newhaven developer Oakdene Homes have revealed serious rotting and corrosion to quayside metal and timber supports on the eastside of the River Ouse near to the swing bridge.  These pilings are 100 years old so their condition will hardly come as a surprise.  The cost involved in repairing the supports will have an impact on Oakdene’s intention to buy and develop the eastside site with around 2000 new homes and the Town Council has indicated willingness to compromise on the number of affordable homes they will require to be included in the development plans.

Funds totaling more than £40000 have been raised in Sussex during the past year from a variety of lifeboat appeals.

The town’s best known manufacturing company Parker Pen announced that it would be transferring certain operations away from Newhaven to the parent company’s site at Fradley Park. This is expected to cause the loss of around 200 jobs from the Railway Road unit - around half of the present workforce.

Newhaven commuters received welcome news that the Beddingham fly-over had been opened to traffic.  There is still much work to be done on the approaches before final completion of the project mid-2008.

The Information Commission ruled that ESCC had breached the Freedom of Information Act by not revealing sections of their waste incineration contract with Veolia. This information has now been released to the Press and interested parties.

November 2007

Work to construct a bus corridor on part of the Coast Road between Newhaven and Brighton commenced. 

Following mixed reports issued during the last two years regarding its results, a  trial desalination plant, assembled on the river bank near to Newhaven’s east pier in July 2004, has now been removed.   

Local MP Norman Baker published his book relating to the death of government weapons expert David Kelly and the subsequent Hutton Inquiry. It is reported that the first print run sold out within a fortnight.

October 2007

The Coastwatch Tower on Castle Hill, manned by 40 volunteers, has been declared an official station by the National Coastwatch Institution after satisfying their test criteria.

September 2007

Jessica Bauldry reported in the Argus (Sep 28) that the estimated construction cost of Newhaven’s proposed waste incinerator had more than doubled from the original £71M to £145M and to help Veolia their contract had been extended from 25 to 30 years - giving them, it is said, potential extra income of £35M. The original contract was apparently signed in 2003 but how this squares with a lease on the land expiring in 2032 is not clear. The information published was very limited as both Brighton Council and ESCC took their decisions at private meetings which itself provoked severe criticism from many quarters.

A huge regeneration scheme published for Shoreham included a suggestion to relocate some port activity to Newhaven.

Planning permission granted in 2002 for a port access road, due to expire this month, has been extended by ESCC.

It had been expected that the site of the proposed waste incinerator would be acquired by CPO. A Council report revealed instead that  it would be rented at a cost of £550000 pa and that the lease would expire in 2032.

Newhaven lifeboat was called to assist after both engines of a speedboat exploded off Birling Gap causing major damage.  The owner was driving alone and, reacting very quickly, he grabbed a life jacket and jumped into the sea.

August 2007

Andy Whelan reported in the Argus (Aug 23) that Oakdene Homes are negotiating with French owned Newhaven Port and Properties to acquire Newhaven Port. Oakdene have already completed substantial development of the West Quay and have published plans already to build further along this bank of the Ouse around the Marina and to commence development of the east bank south of Newhaven Bridge. The area now in their sights is said to be a further 147 acres of land indicating a huge long term commitment to Newhaven.  Oakdene chief executive Carl Turpin is quoted as saying “For many years Newhaven has been the hidden jewel of the South Coast .......“ Steady on now, Carl.

A proposal has been put forward, for consideration by interested groups in Newhaven and Seaford, to sink decommissioned warships in Seaford Bay with the intention of creating artificial reefs.  After several years of preparation a similar project off the Devon coast  culminated in the sinking of the last Leander-class Royal Navy frigate HMS Scylla at Whitsand Bay near Plymouth on the 27 March 2004. Although claiming the lives of two divers earlier this month it will no doubt remain a popular dive site but it is not clear to what extent, if any, a reef has developed.

July 2007

Two legal challenges were entered against plans to build the Waste Incinerator at North Quay.  Meanwhile both Brighton Council and ESCC are continuing with their administrative steps towards construction.

The national public place smoking ban having come into force on July 1st, an evening tour of the area reveals what must become one of the defining images of 2007 - small groups of smokers standing outside pub doorways

June 2007

Bus lanes along the coast road between Newhaven and Brighton came closer with an decision to create the first phase from Telscombe Cliffs to Rottingdean.

LD Lines reported a significant increase in both vehicle and passenger numbers on their ferries in 2007 compared to the previous year.

May 2007

Thanks to the combined work carried out by Lewes District Council and the Castle Hill Group, a footpath has been opened near Newhaven Fort which will allow access by disabled people to this nature reserve and the panoramic clifftop views afforded across the harbour entrance and Seaford Bay.

Two smugglers, caught by Customs in October 2005, were convicted of attempting to import illegally nearly four million counterfeit cigarettes hidden inside a refrigerated lorry trailer beneath palletes of pizza toppings.

April 2007

The In March 2006 SE Water claimed that their trial desalination project had proved successful and were proposing construction of a full-scale plant at Newhaven.  They are now reported to have said that desalination will not help, is too expensive and has many environmental costs.  It will instead attempt to obtain supplies from underground rocks at South Heighton.

The proposed new ferry link between Newhaven and Le Havre is set to commence on April 30 and run until September 30.  One daily return crossing of five-hours in each direction is scheduled to leave Newhaven at 12.30pm and arrive back at mdnight. LD Lines intend to use the Seven Sisters for this crossing reducing its availability for the Dieppe route.

Access steps to the West Beach were reopened to the public in time for Easter after being closed since April last year. The strip adjacent to the sea wall remains sealed off as it is considered to be unsafe.  The 117 year old western harbour arm looks destined to remain closed to the public unless and until a fence is erected along the entire length - again for safety reasons.  Local anglers in particular are proposing to campaign for it to be reopened.

March 2007

Monitors of pollution to Valley Ponds since January consider that the water quality will recover in time for the toad mating season.

Brighton transport planners are talking to Newhaven and Shoreham with a view to extending their proposed City Rapid Transit bus system along the coast to both towns. 

After both Local MP Norman Baker and South East MEP Caroline Lucas had made last ditch representations to Secretary of State for Local Government Ruth Kelly, urging her to call in the Newhaven Incinerator Planning Application, it was announced that she was unwilling to do so. Remaining hopes of the 16000 objectors for Government Intervention disappeared.

Six secure berths for boats have been offered, to sea anglers only, at the bargain price of £150 per year through Newhaven Deep Sea Anglers Club.

Company Newater seriously upset local anglers by announcing a plan to pump 30000 cubic metres of treated sewage effluent per day into the Rivers Ouse and Cuckmere, for an indefinite time, to combat the effects of drought.  Anglers feared their sport might be ruined by pollution.

Newhaven Fort reported that it was ready to open for the new season, with several new displays, after intensive redecoration. 

February 2007

Especially relieved were gardeners when it was announced that the hosepipe ban in this area, along with other regions in the South, had been lifted.  This was hardly a surprise after a Winter of unusually heavy rainfall.

ESCC planning committee gave their approval to building a highly controversial Waste Incinerator at Newhaven in spite of receiving over 16000 objections. A Hastings Councillor even suggested it could become a tourist attraction! Consideration of the project now passes to Secretary of State Ruth Kelly who will decide whether or not to intervene.

January 2007

It was confirmed that Louis Dreyfus Armateurs would take over the Newhaven cross-channel ferry service in March 2007 from sister company Transmanche.

Five historic ponds near Valley Road were accidentally polluted killing many fish including a number of carp.

After heavy rainfall in recent months the region’s reservoirs were reported to be at normal levels again and underground aquifers were beginning to fill. This prompted speculation that the hosepipe ban would be lifted before too long.

Newhaven News January to December 2006

December 2006

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs are reported to have acquired the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry service from Transmanche and in a surprise announcement have said that they will introduce a new ferry route from Newhaven to Le Havre.

Newhaven Town Council has been granted Quality Council Status after satisfactorily passing the various tests necessary to qualify for the award.

An empty 105m long oil barge broke away from Polish tug Ajaks in severe weather conditions and went aground against the cliffs at Seaford Head. It was later re-floated by a Dutch salvage team.

The National Coastwatch Institution of Newhaven received a donation of £30000 from the Gannet Foundation enabling it to carry out essential repairs and continue its lifesaving operation at the Castle Hill watch tower.

A slow-moving Coast Road car-crawl to protest against the proposed incinerator was called off due to high winds and rain but went ahead on a revised date later in the month.

November 2006

Newhaven Town Council gave their approval to Oakdene Homes further plans for development on both banks of the River Ouse.  The plans now go forward to Lewes DC for consideration in 2007.

The Environment Agency granted a Pollution Prevention and Control permit to Veolia in respect of their proposed construction of a waste incinerator at North Quay.

The second new ferry Seven Sisters joined her sister ship Cote d’Albatre on the cross-channel service, replacing the elderly Dieppe.  Now that they are in harness together it will be interesting to see whether the schedules can move towards the three-hour crossing time suggested when the ships were first announced.

Local Museum curator, Peter Bailey, celebrated his 90th birthday during this month.  His unstinting devotion to maintenance of the towns historical archive is legendary

October 2006

Castle Hill Nature Reserve, adjacent to Newhaven Fort, has been made more accessible by completion of a new footpath from the Fort car park to the coast guard watch tower.

One protester has succeeded! LDC have listened to the residents campaign and agreed that Newhaven football club should not be re-sited at their East Side Park.

The new ferry Seven Sisters, has not yet arrived to replace the Dieppe, but it has already become the centre of an industrial dispute.  English crew of the Dieppe have been told they may not work on the new ship unless they can speak the French language. One wonders how they have managed to cope on the Dieppe for so many years.

Protests against the planned Waste Incinerator continued with a fresh air rally in the town streets.

Architects Morgan Carn have now lodged, with Lewes District Council, Oakdene Homes plans for phases three and four of their ongoing residential development of the port’s riverside land. First revealed in May, phase three is for the Marina area in Fort Road and phase four is at the east side Railway Quay.

The Friends of Tide Mills and Newhaven Eastside Group have joined forces to clear huge amounts of rubbish from the Tide Mills area and have now declared it to be litter free.  They say that trimmings and discarded remnants of fishing nets are one major problem which needs to be addressed in order to help keep it that way.

Newhaven Youth Marching Band won the Best Band cup at Burgess Hill torchlight procession.  Next month the band is due to hold a 20th anniversary reunion.

September 2006

Parker Pen announced that it is to move the company’s distribution operation, to Fradley Park in Staffordshire but say that manufacturing will continue at their historical base in Newhaven.

The French owner of Newhaven Harbour, the Department of Seine-Maritime, is seeking a buyer for the Port. Apollo Bannertown, an American backed company, is reported to be the preferred bidder and close to a deal. Local political figures gave optimistic comment to the Leader but few facts have as yet emerged

August 2006

The Highways agency opened a new bridleway bridge over the A26, where it is crossed by the South Downs Way between Newhaven and Lewes, to aid users of the Trail.

Many residents living near the Eastside Recreation Ground are both surprised and angry to learn of plans to move Newhaven Football Club to this site. The club have stated that they would qualify for grants of about £350000 only if they move - but not if they redevelop existing premises. It had previously been expected that the club would be integrated into a community Sports Village to be created around their present site near the Marina in Fort Road. The club has been in existence for 80 years and regular match attendances are in the region of 100. 

Observers of the kittiwake colony at Seaford are concerned that about 200 chicks have failed to survive this year and attribute this to lack of food.  Their theory is that the unusually hot South Coast summer has led the fish on which they are fed to seek other waters.

July 2006

Local youngsters leaping into the water from Newhaven harbour arms is nothing new and has probably been around for many generations.  Although the game can never be devoid of danger, at least participants usually had the wit to check out the conditions - water depth, submerged rocks, passing vessels etc. - to improve the odds on survival. Reports are now indicating increased recklessness. The name of tombstoning has been coined.

Heatwave conditions have prevailed throughout the month but West Beach access steps are still barred from use. (
see Gallery for Photo)  The western harbour arm has also remained closed but here at least repair work is in evidence.  It is possible now to access the short eastern harbour arm with its new slimline light tower.

June 2006

Arrival of hot weather persuaded many families to ignore the barriers to the steps erected in April and find their own way down to the West Beach.  Newhaven Port and Properties own the sea wall but claim they cannot afford to undertake repairs. In recent years the condition of the wall and steps  has deteriorated markedly and the current poor state is very obvious. (see Gallery for Photo) What is not clear is whether the privilege of ownership of the quayside by NPP comes with a commitment to maintain it.

The Coastguard helicopter was deployed to respond to a Newhaven emergency when a serious jet-ski accident occurred some distance off Tide Mills beach. A paramedic was lowered from the helicopter to attend to the injured party who was later transferred to Hospital. (
see Gallery for Photo)

Figures supplied by South East Water indicate that the Waste Incinerator proposed for Newhaven North Quay would use 50 million litres of water per year. This information proved especially sensitive having been released during a sustained period of severe drought and restrictions on domestic water usage.

May 2006

In spite of the chilly weather prevailing, Newhaven’s annual Fish Festival, with its popular French Market and associated events, again drew in a good attendance.
Seaford Waste Forum has invited local artists to create a pictorial online protest against the proposed incinerator. The website address is www.seafordgallery.co.uk

Architects Morgan Carn unveiled their latest plans for further phases of Oakdene Homes riverside regeneration projects with a small display in Denton Island Business Centre. With phase 2 now well under construction this presentation related to the Marina phase 3 area on the west bank and the Railway Quay North phase 4 area on the east plus an outline RQ South boundary for phase 5.

A cycle path in the Ouse Valley Conservation Park has been extended and it has now become possible to walk or cycle across the Tide Mills area from Newhaven to Seaford.

April 2006

Access to the town’s popular sandy beach has been barricaded off by owners Newhaven Port and Properties as they consider that the harbour wall has become unsafe.  NPP are reported to be unwilling to put a time limit on the closure. (see Gallery for Photo)

March 2006

Brand new £28M ferry Cote d’Albatre arrived as promised and went into service on the Newhaven-Dieppe route. (see Ferry Port page for fuller information and Photo)

South East Water claimed that their trial desalination plant near the port entrance had proved successful but they stated also that the cost of producing tap water from sea water is 15 times as high as from ground water. SE Water are now proposing construction of a full-scale desalination plant at Newhaven.

The RNLI published their statistics and, for the Newhaven lifeboat crew, 46 emergency call outs and 58 rescues were recorded during 2005. 
(see Lifeboat Station page for fuller information.)

Onyx, now referred to as Veolia, formally applied for a Pollution Prevention and Control license to burn 210000 tonnes of waste per year at North Quay. There are now three battlefronts for protesters 1) the PPC license, 2) the overall local waste plan, 3) the planning application for construction of the incinerator.

February 2006

A front page article by Calie Williams in the Sussex Express,  raised more concerns about the Incinerator Effect.  Elite Food and Drink claim that the proposed site is so close to their food processing operation that it must affect future business decisions.  Meanwhile DOVE continued to urge anyone with objections to make their views known in writing while there was still time to do so.

Huge gates have been erected across the entrance to the walkway along the western harbour arm preventing public access. (
see Gallery for Photo) Repair work is being carried out but, as with the eastern arm closed in December 2005, there is no indication of how long the walkway will be closed.

January 2006

Work is due to start in March on the second phase of redevelopment of Newhaven’s West Quay. This is adjacent to a further 20 acres of riverside land recently acquired by Oakdene Homes which includes the existing marina. Planning details for this latest area will be awaited by local residents with considerable interest.

The waste burner threat continued with residents being given a deadline date of January 27 to make their views known to East Sussex County Council - it is said that some 6000 did so.  Juliette Bowers in the Leader reports that the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) told applicant councils that it wants time to look over the plan.  Campaigners claim this to be significant - why is not obvious.

Bird watchers became excited at reports that a small flock of cattle egrets had been seen at nearby Piddinghoe.  The plumage of these rare visitors is a striking white, and they have straight pointed yellow beaks and black feet

Newhaven News January to December 2005

December 2005

Sadly the death was reported of Argus journalist Rowan Dore. Mr Dore was the author of many local news items concerning Newhaven and as stated in one of the many tributes to him he made sure his stories were always “factual, balanced and right”. This website has benefited on several occasions from his news and he was never too busy to respond to feedback.

Is Newhaven becoming The Place to Film?  Another crew recently spent a long day shooting on the West Pier foreshore continuing until well after the light had gone.  The working title according to their bus is Love Story and includes a variety of fancy cars and youngsters reminiscent of the final scenes of Grease.  The Newhaven-located film shown at Cannes earlier this year pushed the boundaries of good taste so far that many of even that hardened audience walked out - so hope for better with this one.

The quaint & stumpy square skeletal iron lighthouse and accompanying lantern, gallery and watchroom formerly on the Port’s East Pier has been replaced by a slim tower. The new tower, although quite featureless, is merrily flashing its green light and all seems to be well.  The pier itself is closed to the public but there is no indication for how long this will apply.

November 2005

Waste processing company Onyx submitted to ESCC their controversial planning application to build an incinerator at Newhaven capable of burning 210000 tonnes of rubbish annually from the County and Brighton City.  According to project manager John Collins this was an Energy Recovery Facility - not an incinerator!  Kate Morrison reports in the Argus that the ERF is intended to run 24 hours every day for 35 years and will generate 224 lorry trips per day along the A26.

October 2005

A rusty U-Boat gun which has been on display at the Local Museum since 2001 has attracted police attention. Although the gun is said to have been under water for 80 years it still needs to have a decommissioning certificate.

Oakdene Homes have purchased almost 20 acres of harbour land at Railway Quay. The company plan to build 640 homes on the site.

English Heritage and Newhaven Historical Society have moved to open up for public interest and access the labyrinth of secret tunnels of a wartime Naval Intelligence centre constructed beneath South Heighton.

September 2005

Newhaven Historical Society has asked that two streets be named after wartime pilots F/O George McKinley who died and Lt August De Genaro who survived (and is still alive) when preventing their aircraft crashing into local houses.

In a change of mind, Transmanche indicated that they had postponed their attempt to sell the Dieppe ferry route until the two new ships were in operation.

Newhaven Fort celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which took place in the skies between July 10 and October 31 1940, with musicians, singers, dancers against a background of authentic military vehicles and dress of the time.

A conservation project has succeeded in preventing public vehicular access to the West Beach area of Castle Hill Nature Reserve with a view to limiting damage to the undercliff and protecting kittiwakes and other rare birds and vegetation whose habitat it has become.

August 2005

Rowan Dore disclosed in the Argus on August 3 that Transmanche were seeking to sell the Newhaven-Dieppe service to a specialist ferry operator and in a further article on August 22 reported a significant increase in both passenger and vehicle numbers carried on the route during 2005.  Further reference was made to the two new 16000 tonne ships in course of construction named as Cote d’Albatre and Seven Sisters.

July 2005

The British Legion war memorial was moved from its original base in Chapel Street and placed alongside the Canadian and Maritime memorials in the gardens at the river end of Bridge Street.

Eight consecutive months of below average rainfall forced South East Water to introduce a hosepipe and sprinkler ban for the area.

Recently appointed Mayor of Newhaven, Robbie Robertson, launched a Clean Streets project for the town.

Newhaven Fort has been included on the 2005 English Heritage “Buildings at Risk” list. The effect should be to allow a higher priority for maintenance funding grants.

A Leader article focused on the continued decline of trade in the town centre. The cost of parking, loss of the fast ferry service and the negative effect of a twice weekly market were cited as contributory factors.

An upbeat front page piece by Abigail Wilsher in the Sussex Express on July 8, reported a £650000 upgrade to the port - in particular to create an improved ferry turning facility.  At the same time it was confirmed that the two new ferries were due to arrive in 2006. 

June 2005

At the third attempt the town finally succeeded in disposing of the footbridge which for so many years has spanned North Way. (see Gallery for Photo)

Derek Payne was honoured by the Rotary Club for his extraordinarily dedicated service to Newhaven Lifeboat lasting for 46 years.  In a Leader quote he expressed concern at the lack of new and younger people coming forward.

May 2005

Newhaven joined with Seaford to present a Maritime Festival lasting from May 27 to June 4. An RNLI Open Day, a Dieppe Market and a Fish Festival on West Quay were all central to the event.

Norman Baker (LibDem) was re-elected at the General Election as MP for the Lewes constituency, which includes Newhaven, with a majority of 8474.  

The footbridge across North Way was again scheduled to dismantled - this time by stages over the weekend of May 21/22. Once more it did not happen. Perhaps it was because it could not be decided how residents would learn in future of Bill’s 40th birthday, Pam’s new baby, Tom & Jean’s engagement .... etc.

The 60th anniversary of VE Day was celebrated at the Fort on May 8 with a children’s street party as the central feature.

ESCC is proposing to cut funding of £78000 for the East Sussex Disability Association who run coach trips coaches for housebound people in Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford. A decision is expected in June.

An attempt to enable pupils from the fire-damaged Tideway school to continue their studies at East Brighton College of Media Arts was discontinued after they were assaulted by youths. The attack was not by students of either school and the purpose of it is unclear.

DOVE protesters opposing the proposed waste incinerator held a fundraising concert with a mixture of jazz, pop, rock and modern classical music.

April 2005

Liberty’s night club has been threatened with closure after a man was killed outside.

An articulated lorry carrying scrap metal overturned blocking the A26 road into Newhaven The driver had to be freed by firefighters but fortunately was not severely injured.

A massive fire caused extensive damage to Newhaven’s Tideway School. 70 firemen attended the fire as flames shot 60 ft into the air. Damage was estimated at £1M and local youths were questioned on suspicion of causing the blaze.  The school did not have sprinklers installed.

Halifax Bank announced that it would close its branch in Newhaven Square on April 22.

March 2005

After much misinformation it was finally admitted that the SuperSeaCat fast ferry to Dieppe, operated by Hoverspeed since 1999, would be axed. It had been suggested that Transmanche might take this service over but talks between them and Hoverspeed had failed to reach any agreement. MV Dieppe returned to service following repairs necessary after colliding with the harbour wall at Dieppe.

Police announced that they would be making use in Newhaven of a similar order to that used successfully in Seaford, with the aim of removing troublemakers from the town’s streets to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.

Protesters led by DOVE (Defenders of the Ouse Valley) delivered several hundred letters of protest against the proposed construction of a waste incinerator at North Quay.

Work was been scheduled to remove the pedestrian footbridge over North Way.  This bridge, although little used by residents to cross North Way, has served as a convenient notice board for their birthdays and anniversaries.

February 2005

Once again ferry MV Dieppe collided with the harbour wall at Dieppe suffering damage severe enough to put it out of action for several weeks. 

Hoverspeed confirmed that the SuperSeacat fast ferry service to Dieppe would resume on March 17 but afterwards this was put back to late April. Talks regarding the sale of this business to Transmanche Ferries would continue.

January 2005

Newhaven Councilor’s expressed concern over the level of disturbance which might be generated, both to the store itself and adjacent businesses in Newhaven Square, if a proposal to construct 22 flats over the Somerfield supermarket went ahead.

Ferry Sardinia Vera suffered the tragic loss of an Italian crew member engaged on filling the water tanks while the 27 year old vessel was berthed at Newhaven. Earlier in the same week Sardinia Vera was delayed after running aground outside the harbour entrance.

Newhaven News July to December 2004

December 2004

Campaigners protesting against plans for a waste incinerator interrupted a County Council meeting

Newhaven is to receive £500,000 aimed at making the town “more interesting.” The award comes jointly from ESCC and the South-East England Development Agency

November 2004

Eastbourne MP Nigel Waterson cast doubt on the future viability of the ferry service from Newhaven.  He was reacting to figures, showing a drop in passenger numbers, given in response to his own parliamentary question to Transport Minister David Jamieson.

Transmanche Ferries said that their own figures actually showed an increase in both freight and passenger traffic and that the two ships under construction underlined their commitment to the service.

MP Norman Baker asked that Nigel Waterson keep his nose out of Newhaven’s affairs following the Eastbourne MP’s downbeat comments on the future of the ferry service.

It was revealed that Lewes District Council had plans to install a wind turbine somewhere between Newhaven and Seaford.

Ecological protesters, claiming that dredging work was damaging the sea bed, prevented the swing bridge from opening to release the dredger by attaching cycle locks to the gates.

Hoverspeed is rumoured to be about to discontinue its summer fast ferry service from Newhaven. The company is reported to be in some form of negotiation with Transmanche Ferries.

Protesters campaigning against the proposal to build a waste incinerator at Newhaven demonstrated outside Lewes District Council while discussion on waste disposal was taking place.

October 2004

A controversial 30 mph speed limit at Rushy Hill on the exit road towards Brighton, introduced ten years ago due to threatened subsidence, has been replaced by a 40 mph limit

High winds caused severe damage to a rig recently moved to Newhaven for coastal renovation work. The platform was working in Seaford bay at the time and ended up on the beach in a badly battered condition.

Gales continued on and off for nearly two weeks and on one crossing the ferry Dieppe had to wait four hours off Newhaven while storms battered the harbour arm.  

September 2004

The town’s first Fish Festival fortunately coincided with fine weather and proved a huge success attracting many thousands of visitors. The event is intended to take place on alternate years in future.

August 2004

The Government called for tougher security controls at the Port. The risks are perceived to have increased since the removal of full time Customs & Excise Officers last year.

Only recently returned to service after repair, following an accident in July, the ferry Dieppe ran aground for two hours on a sandbank just outside Newhaven Harbour.

July 2004

A trial desalination plant began operating on the east bank of the entrance to Newhaven
Harbour. The trial is expected to last 14 months

Local MP Norman Baker announced that he was worried about future operation of the crossing to Dieppe by Transmanche using traditional type ferries.  It is only three years since Transmanche reopened this service after P & O abandoned the route claiming heavy losses.

The current service has been disrupted by the loss of 17000 ton MV Dieppe which collided heavily with Dieppe harbour wall, sustaining damage of sufficient magnitude to put the ferry temporarily out of action. 

Several swans in the harbour area needed to be rescued by Sussex Wildlife & Rescue Service after their plumage became contaminated when they swam into an oil spillage.

A survey entitled “The Economic and Tourism impact on the Dieppe-Newhaven Transmanche Line” reports that the French consider Newhaven to be “drab and dull”.

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