Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Row over port firm's lorry park

Lorry park site
Bulldozers have started work on the site in Newhaven

A French firm has been criticised by a Sussex council after it started building a lorry park in a seaside town without telling residents first.

East Sussex county councillor Pat Ost said residents felt Newhaven Port and Properties was an "uncaring landlord" and they were feeling "very bitter".

The council accused the firm of "proceeding blindly" with the plan.

Bulldozers are now working on the site in Newhaven. Nobody was available to comment from the company.

Newhaven resident Rita Harper said: "They obviously just do things and tell us afterwards."

'Very bitter'

Mr Ost said: "They are an uncaring landlord according to the local community."

He said the company's actions would be, in the long run, "very corrosive of trust".

And he added: "A lot of people feel very bitter about the way that they've exercised their landlord rights."

Last month, East Sussex County Council said it was opposed to the plan to provide overnight parking for 10 HGVs on land owned by the port.

It said it wanted to see a transport interchange on the land to make it easier for people to use trains, buses and taxis.

The authority said it had offered a land swap deal earlier in the year, but the request was turned down.

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