A council has backtracked on plans for a new food waste site after residents complained it would attract rats and pollute their neighbourhood.

Lewes District Council previously approved plans for a waste recycling site in Lewes Road, Newhaven in April, but residents said they were “deeply concerned” about the effect it would have on homeowners.

Now, the council says it has listened to residents and will pause the plans while it looks at alternatives.

Cllr Wendy Maples, lead member for neighbourhood wellbeing, said: "It's always my belief that we can only arrive at decisions of this importance by taking people with us and that means listening carefully to what they say.

"Having heard local people, read the comments and listened to opinions that have been shared with me, it's clear that the right decision is to put a pause on the proposals."

Council leader Zoe Nicholson added: "Consulting with residents and taking account of their views is central to what this council is all about.

"We have listened and read all the feedback and it's clear more work is needed before anything can proceed."

The decision to halt plans comes after councillors agreed to the proposals but called for measures to prevent noise pollution and better measures to tackle vermin.

The Lewes Road site was previously used as a recycling centre until 2011.

Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, welcomed the decision after previously criticising what she said was a lack of consultation.

She said: “I am very pleased that Lewes District Council is finally listening to local residents on this issue, I have had so many people contact me saying they were not even aware of the plans before it was approved by Lewes District Council.

“I will be continuing to represent residents on this issue as a “pause” does leave the door open for the plans to still go ahead.”