Energy plant fuels £400k community cash boost

COMMUNITY projects in Newhaven will benefit from a £400,000 cash boost thanks to funding from a town energy plant.

Schemes to benefit will include a new play area, bandstand and riverside path, replacing a roof at a town community centre and a new education centre focusing on the area’s pre-historic past.

The East Sussex County Council funding comes from money left over after the completion of landscaping and tree-planting to reduce the visual impact of the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility.

The plant’s operator, Veolia, allocated £900,000 for that purpose in a planning agreement with the county council but the work was completed for £500,000.

Cllr Nick Bennett, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: “Providing a significant sum of money to mitigate the visual impact was one of the key planning requirements for the energy facility.

“When the work was completed for less than the allocated sum, we agreed with the operator that the remainder should be used for community projects.

“The schemes chosen are a really varied mix but the one thing they all have in common is that they will provide real and lasting benefits to the people of Newhaven and the surrounding area.”

The projects include a new education centre at Newhaven Fort detailing life in the area from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age and information boards at Tide Mills explaining the history of the now-defunct settlement in the Ouse estuary.

Meanwhile, a new bandstand will be built on Huggetts Green, West Quay, an all-weather footpath created alongside the River Ouse in Piddinghoe, a new roof installed at Hillcrest Community Centre, in Newhaven, and new play facilities created at The Hollow, in South Heighton.

The energy recovery facility – sometimes referred to as Newhaven Incinerator – was granted planning permission in 2007 and opened in 2012. It converts around 210,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year into enough power to supply 25,000 homes.

The projects to benefit are detailed below including the funding awarded, organisation receiving money and expected completion date:

– Restoring and relining Castle Hill dew pond and installing new signage boards (£7,200 to Castle Hill Group – September 2017)
– New information boards at Tide Mills explaining the history of the historic settlement in the Ouse Estuary (£11,800 to Sussex Archaeology Society – September 2017)
– Resurfacing work to create a new all-weather path alongside the River Ouse at Piddinghoe (£16,500 to Piddinghoe Parish Council – September 2017)
– A new roof at Hillcrest Community Centre, in Newhaven (£158,300 to Hillcrest Community Partnership – November 2017)
– Newhaven Fort Education Centre – an ancient history education centre showing life from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age (£55,000 to Wave Leisure Trust – November 2017)
– A new telephone system and computer equipment to offer Citizens Advice services for people in Newhaven area (£8,900 to Lewes District Citizens Advice – December 2017)
– A new bespoke, local artist-designed timber and metalwork bandstand on Huggetts Green, West Quay (£22,700 to Newhaven Town Council – January 2018)
– New play equipment and planting at The Hollow recreation ground in South Heighton (£119,300 to South Heighton Parish Council – May 2018)