Newhaven Port Development Approved
Npp Board of Directors is delighted with the decision of the Planning Committee to approve Newhaven Port Development. This is good news not only for the port but also for Newhaven, it is widely agreed that the regeneration of Newhaven port is of critical importance to the regeneration of Newhaven town.
In addition this port development is a major opportunity for Lewes District and East Sussex County to attract new businesses and activities generating employment.
The Conseil Général de Seine Maritime, a French public body, bought Newhaven Port in 2001 in order to secure the future operation of the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry, which remains heavily subsidised by the French taxpayer. The port was very run down and we have invested a lot in repairs, upgrades and improvements.
Furthermore we set out a strategic vision for the port in the Port Master Plan which was published in January 2012, and which was endorsed by the County, District and Town councils.
The Master Plan focussed on economic regeneration and job growth. Newhaven Port Development approval delivers 2 of the 5 key strategic priorities set out in the plan, specifically:
o Developing the infrastructure for a clean technology and renewable energy business cluster;
o Enhancing the natural marine and costal environment by establishing a nature conservation area on port land;
Newhaven has been chosen by E.ON as the operations and construction management port for the Rampion wind farm. This is a major, long-term economic opportunity for Newhaven that could generate up to 350 permanent jobs from the wind farm itself, and from associated and follow on investments. It will also provide job opportunities for students graduating from the new UTC which is being constructed within the port, and which is focussed on marine and renewable energy engineering.
The allocation of a significant part of the existing port to offshore wind means that NPP is now desperately short of quayside access for visiting vessels and land for cargo, engineering and support areas.
The area to the east of the port has been allocated as 'port expansion land' for many years in the local strategic plans. Our initial plan for using 14 hectares of this land to support offshore wind construction has been scaled back substantially to a general purpose land development area of 3 hectares. To offset this, NPP will be providing a 3.5 hectare nature conservation area between the port and SDNP.
The proposed new 300 metre berth has been evaluated on the basis of the maximum size that might be required. We have done extensive modelling of environmental and other factors and the impacts are either minimal, or acceptable mitigation measures have been proposed.
There has been extensive local and statutory consultation, both on the Masterplan and on this project, which is generally well supported, and NPP has been working with principal objector groups to reassure them and resolve their concerns.
This approval of Newhaven Port Development is essential for the modernisation and improvement of the port so that it can capture more of the opportunities presented by the offshore wind, marine and renewable energy markets, and provides a growing, long-term opportunity for new job creation in Newhaven.
On behalf of Npp Directors