A KEY Sussex port is hoping to expand after years of decline, generating new jobs.

Newhaven Port has put forward proposals for new port facilities and set a date for a public exhibition.

One of its hopes is to increase the amount of marine traffic using the port but it has limited quayside space to support this.

To this end, Newhaven Port and Properties (NPP), the harbour authority, is submitting a planning application to build a new, multi-purpose, quayside of up to 300 metres in length at the southern end of the port.

It says this will also have the benefit of widening the current restricted access to the inner harbour and ferry terminal.

The new quayside, if approved, will be used for accommodating a variety of vessels and cargo.

NPP has also revealed it could potentially be a future replacement for the existing ferry terminal.

Building and running the new port is estimated to generate a further 150 jobs.

In tandem with this move, NPP also intends to move towards cleaner technology and renewable energy.

Associated with the new quayside, and part of the same planning application, NPP wants to clear and level some of the land behind it to provide a flat area for managing cargo and associated port activities.

The maximum area set to be cleared is about three hectares.

NPP says none of the proposed area is within, or adjacent to, the South Downs National Park or the Tide Mills archaeological site.

If the works go ahead, part of a footpath would need to be diverted, though NPP says the proposed new route will provide more direct access to the foreshore and the East Pier.

NPP hopes the move would bring another round of marine and renewable energy companies to Newhaven.

A public consultation on the proposal runs on October 14 at the Hillcrest Centre in Newhaven from from 2pm to 8pm.