Surfer’s bid to save the waves at beauty spot

Surfing at Tide Mills SUS-150217-114356001
Surfing at Tide Mills SUS-150217-114356001

A keen surfer has started an online petition to protest against new development plans that would affect the future of Tide Mills.

Jon Spong is one of many local residents and tourists who spend hours at the natural beauty spot either surfing, kiteboarding or simply enjoying the stunning views.

However, the future of the site is under threat after a planning application was submitted that included the refurbishment of the existing multi-purpose berth at the East Quay of Newhaven Port and the construction of a new berth at the southern end.

Mr Spong is concerned the development would not only affect the aesthetics of the popular location but also the waves that so many enjoy.

He said, “You can go down to Tide Mills at 5.30 in the morning and see 35 surfers enjoying the waves. The site is so popular, not only for surfers but for kiteboarding too, and not just for local residents but from people all along the south coast as well.

“NPP (Newhaven Port and Properties) has already taken away one of our sandy beaches and now it’s trying to put its foot over the other one. The planned development partially covers over the sandy beach at the west end of Tide Mills and the surf break also stands to be decimated by the new development plans.

“At a time when diabetes and obesity is constantly being spoken about, these plans will kill a community space that is used by so many for sport and leisure purposes.

“I’ve had some of the best moments of my life at Tide Mills. It’s such a beautiful spot and if this development goes ahead, it would not only damage the view, which is one of the most photographed views in the country, but it would affect the whole community.”

Mr Spong is on a mission to let people know about the proposed developments and has started a campaign called Save Our Wave in a bid to gather support against the plans.

He said, “I’m not doing this to try and influence people, I just want them to have all the information available to them. I’m just one voice but hopefully, through Facebook and Twitter, we can get lots of single voices together to make one big impact.”

Objections must be submitted to Lewes District Council by February 27.

For more information or to sign the petition, which currently has 110 signatures, visit www.saveourwave.org