Shoreham Cement Works – restart of Area Action Plan!

The CEO of the SDNPA reported at the July Authority meeting that work has now restarted on the Area Action Plan (AAP) for Shoreham Cement Works. The plan was originally conceived in 2018. A project plan has been created and special group has been formed to oversee the work. There first meeting is scheduled for Thursday 29th July 2021.

The Cement Works today is an abandoned and rotting building, standing in a deserted and empty Chalk Pit. The site and its attendant quarry have been an eyesore for decades. It’s in West Sussex, adjacent to the River Adur, and lies between Upper Beeding and Shoreham-by-Sea. The whole site covers some 48 hectares (about 100 acres), and starts at its western end at a river bend, and then runs back over some 1,000 metres into a chalk quarry that rises up across flat plateaus to a cliff at its eastern end. It sits right at the centre of the South Downs National Park, designated by Natural England as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The site gets a special mention in the SDNPA Local Plan under Policy SD56:

The National Park Authority say they would support development proposals for the following land uses where it is demonstrated they deliver the environmentally led restoration of the site:
a) Sustainable tourism/visitor-based recreation activities and leisure development directly related to the understanding and enjoyment of the National Park;
b) B2 and B8 business uses to support the local economy, with a focus on environmentally sustainable activities, supporting local communities and providing opportunities for entrepreneurship; and
c) Further types of development, including new homes, including affordable homes and/or Class B1 office development, where necessary to enable redevelopment of the allocation site as whole. Such types of development should be subordinate to the overall mix of uses proposed.

For more information see the LOCAL PLAN

Some time ago the South Down Project was started by a group from the local community who want to change the site. To find out more click HERE

Roger Bateman of the Shoreham by the Sea History group have produced very interesting and informative history with drawing and plans of the site, including then and now photos. Click HERE for more information

One thought on “Shoreham Cement Works – restart of Area Action Plan!

  1. This is the narrowest part of the South Downs National Park. Imagine a bow tie or an hour glass, the Adur Valley is the narrow waist in the centre, a mere 2 miles wide at this vulnerable point.
    Development, with its associated infrastructure, such as road improvements etc, could effectively sever the Downs in two, seriously devaluing Britain’s newest National Park.
    Policy SD56 summary above notes the support for development of the site: sustainable tourism / leisure development, business uses, housing and office development, but doesn’t counter this with caution over sensitivity of the landscape.
    The quarry was created by mining chalk. Any such proposal these days, if approved, would require the resulting hole in the ground to be restored to its former state.
    This was once a beautiful dry chalk coombe, like the verdant and tranquil one next door at Anchor Bottom. Why not buy out the owner and restore the site? This would be an inspirational result for a 21st century National Park. The primary reason for this designation is its landscape and natural beauty, which should not be reliant of private developers dictating terms and adding to the landscape scar with yet more development.
    This should be viewed as a creative, innovative landscape and nature recovery opportunity, to which funds would surely pour in for such a bold restoration project. The lottery, charitable trusts, philanthropists (the multi-millionaire owners of Tetrapak, made from chalk, live in Sussex – this could be their crowning showpiece), the SDNP itself has its own South Downs trust, set up to raise funds.
    If there is the will, there will be a way. Be bold, go for it.

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