Sussex

Newhaven Fort sell-off considered by Lewes District Council

Newhaven Fort
Image caption Newhaven Fort would have been used to defend the town's port in an invasion

Newhaven Fort could be sold off or leased out under plans being considered by Lewes District Council.

The East Sussex fort was completed in 1871 and is now a tourist attraction but loses about £200,000 a year.

A series of recommendations will be presented to the cabinet, including reducing the size of the museum and selling the freehold of the site.

The fort was considered a vital coastal defence in both world wars, but was decommissioned in the 1960s.

Conservative councillor Rob Blackman, who is the lead member for business, economic development and tourism at Lewes District Council, said there had been "expressions of interest" in the site.

'Great esteem'

"We would like to see some form of museum continuing at the fort and that would be written into any documents that we would draw up," he said.

But Steven Saunders, who is deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, said the plans were "short sighted".

"The people of Newhaven hold the fort in great esteem," he said.

"We use it throughout the year for many different events, including the Dieppe commemoration."

The proposals will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites