The developer of a major tourism attraction is calling for business leaders to get involved.

Round Table Entertainments has unveiled a scheme to create the largest water park in the world on contaminated land in Newhaven.

It plans to buy the land at Riverside Park from East Sussex County Council for £1.

They met with 40 businesses at a meeting organised by the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce.

A spokesman for Round Table said it is committed to spending 25% of its budget locally and has asked for companies to submit their details so that they can be considered for both the construction and post-construction phases.

According to environmental risk assessment experts Argyll Environmental, the landfill will be full of decomposing wastes which will give off methane gas.

A spokesman for the firm in Dyke Road, Brighton, said: “Our records indicate that the landfill was started in the early 1960s and took a wide range of wastes, residential, commercial and non hazardous industrial wastes.

Engineering safety

“It was finally closed as a landfill by the council in 1981.

“The developer will have to build using expert engineering to ensure that all gases are safely collected and vented from the site.

“To get solid footings the developer will also have to pile through the landfill into the chalk below, taking great care that this does not itself create a pathway in which the chemical sludge in the bottom of the landfill can escape and cause serious environmental contamination.”

Paul Yates-Smith, founder of the Brighton Business Club, said Roundtable must now be specific on which areas it considers local and when they expect to appoint an architect.

He said: “I am genuinely excited at the prospect of such a project and the prosperity it could potentially bring to Newhaven and the surrounding areas.

“I just hope that the project has been fully researched, the full impact on the infrastructure of the plans are fully reported and that they will make good on the promise of some £70 million being spent with local businesses.”

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