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Planning Committee outcome on proposed new Environment First Satellite Depot in Newhaven

On Wednesday 17th April 2024, Lewes District Council's Planning Committee considered proposals for a new satellite depot at the site of the old household waste and recycling centre in Newhaven to facilitate the new Electric Vehicle fleet and other storage for street cleansing and food waste collection services.

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Latest update: Environment First Satellite Depot, Newhaven - FAQs

A broad range of issues were raised at the Planning Committee meeting, including the merits of the scheme and the concerns of local residents.

A significant number of new representations were received shortly before the Committee meeting, which meant that they could not be considered in their entirety. The Committee resolved to delegate to Officers to consider the remaining representations and only to re-consider at a future meeting should any substantive issues require their consideration. Officers will summarise the concerns within a stand-alone document.

The satellite depot will house 15 new electric fleet vehicles, each one helping to reduce the district's carbon emissions. The site will also include two sealed containers for daily collection of food waste. The containers will be exchanged for new clean containers every day, with full containers transferred to the existing food and garden waste facility at Whitesmith, for processing into compost. No processing or long-term storage will be held on site. The exchanges of the skips will take place during the daytime whilst the vans are out on their rounds across the district.

The electric vehicles operate quietly and most of the activity on the site will take place in the afternoon. Gabion walls and fencing will enclose the site and Officers are exploring other forms of noise mitigation, together with other additional details, to be secured by condition of permission, as delegated by the Planning Committee. While the containers are vermin proof and sealed when not in use, the site management team will also implement rigorous containment controls. Environment First have already been working to make improvements to the site, including ground clearance and additional vermin control.

Options were explored for incorporating these facilities within the existing main Robinson Road waste and recycling depot. However, the site is already at operational capacity and there is no safe way to add additional vehicles, equipment, and machinery, whilst also increasing the capacity of the fleet to meet future service needs, hence the decision to instead create a satellite site within close distance of Robinson Road.

Prior to the planning application being considered, council officers and Councillors visited neighbouring homes and gave a full presentation to Newhaven Town Councillors. Further consultation was carried out on the planning application to encourage comments from residents and businesses. This was also shared across social media by various Town and Ward Councillors.

Frequently Asked Questions are in the process of being developed to provide residents with further information on the proposals. Once ready, these will be added to this statement.

Should you have any further questions, queries, or concerns, please send to Development@lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk

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