Council leader calls on government to confirm NO lorry park for Newhaven

It seems despite an assurance from our local MP, our local Council Leader, James MacCleary is not convinced

James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council has written today to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, asking him to rule out any plans for a lorry park in the Newhaven and the wider Lewes district area.

The letter from Councillor James MacCleary follows the government’s recent introduction of sweeping powers, known as a Special Development Order, that allows for the construction of lorry parks in 29 different council areas across England without any approval from local planning authorities.

East Sussex is one of the 29 areas that has been included in the order.

Newhaven resident Councillor James MacCleary said:

“In any circumstance it is a very worrying sign when a government grants itself such wide-ranging powers without any consultation with either the local Council or residents, the assumption we have to make is they know how deeply contentious and unpopular these actions will be. 

“Tories like Lewes MP Maria Caulfield try to dismiss any questions about Brexit as ‘scaremongering’ but for those of us who actually live in Lewes District, it is important to understand what is planned for our community. East Sussex has only one major working port, Newhaven, so to rule out lorry parks at ports in East Sussex is to rule out this development at Newhaven or indeed communities whose transport links serve the port such as Lewes or Seaford.

“Maria Caulfield has claimed publicly that there will be no lorry parks locally, but if that is the case then why is East Sussex even listed? The country was told Brexit was about reducing red tape and delays. This discussion about lorry parks shows that a massive increase in checks on lorries and paperwork is planned and the Government is planning locations for these extensive new checks to be carried out. 

“The uncertainty is causing widespread concern within our community so I hope the Secretary of State will quickly rule out any possibility of a lorry park being built in the district and at Newhaven port.”

You are able to join the debate this morning on the Lewes District Facebook page at 10.00am. See our earlier post.