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Council plans to sell land in Newhaven for £1
Land valued at up to £100,000 and spanning 47 acres looks set to be sold to a private company for just £1.
East Sussex County Council plans to flog its old landfill site, currently used as open space and known as Riverside Park, off Lewes Road, Newhaven, to Round Table Entertainment Ltd for less than the price of a loaf of bread.
Round Table Entertainment Ltd wants to build what would become the largest indoor water park in the world on the site.
Nearby land including the Lewes Road Recreation Ground was already sold to the firm by Lewes District Council in June for £84,000.
Originally East Sussex County Council had planned to landscape the land using cash from Veolia, which runs the nearby Newhaven incinerator.
The council said the benefits that the water park was set to bring meant that it was possible for it to be sold at such a knockdown price, although the deal will not be formally agreed until a council meeting on November 27.
The council added the economic regeneration of Newhaven was “a priority” which justified the £1 price tag.
The papers read: “It is proposed that both sites will form part of a significant hotel and water park leisure development that is reported could create up to 650 new jobs and 300 further posts in the local area.
“Therefore, it is recommended that the council should also make its land available for redevelopment to ensure that this opportunity is not lost.”
The site was run as a landfill from 1963 to 1981, when it was covered with vegetation and stone paths were laid. A former household recycling site will also be sold.
Rupert Clubb, county council director of economy, transport and environment, said: “The opportunity to redevelop this land will help support the economic regeneration of Newhaven – something we all want to see.
"If our lead councillor agrees next week, we will enter into an agreement to sell the land to Round Table Entertainments Ltd.”
In a statement on its website, Round Table Entertainment Ltd said: “We believe that the project will have a transformational effect on a town which has not benefited from the economic prosperity which other areas have enjoyed.”
Round Table Entertainments Ltd had not responded to The Argus as it went to press. If the firm fails to go ahead with the scheme, the land will be returned to the council.
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