Newhaven Kendal Court scandal ‘ended by press coverage’

HOMELESS were dumped in a troubled block of flats in Newhaven and the scandal ended in part because of media exposure, a council leader said.

James MacCleary, the Liberal Democrat leader of Lewes District Council, spoke out after Brighton and Hove City Council said it would no longer try people in Kendal Court.

But at least 10 people died after being housed in a transitional, or emergency, home on the block from 2016 to 2021.

The placements and deaths sparked outrage, and East Sussex County Council threatened legal action against Brighton and Hove.

Councilor MacCleary, who represents Newhaven and Bishopstone on East Sussex County Council, said he hoped the Railway Road flats would now be put to better use.

He said: “The Kendal Court scandal has left the residents in a very bad taste.

“I sounded the alarm shortly after my election because I couldn’t believe vulnerable people were being treated like this.

“I truly believe that if we hadn’t brought this to the attention of the local and national media, Brighton and Hove City Council and the landowner would have happily continued dumping people there.


Argus has been investigating conditions at Kendal Courthouse for more than four years and highlights the deaths there in 2018.

We’ve since spoken to various residents who have described how upset they were to be there.

One ex-prisoner said conditions were “worse than prison” when we spoke to him in 2020.

Last year we revealed that sex offenders and survivors of sexual and domestic abuse were housed on the same block – which is 15 miles from the city.

Cllr MacCleary added, “Newhaven’s Eastside area is undergoing a lot of change and the city is finally getting the investment it deserves.

“We will now be watching very closely what happens next with the site.”

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Brighton and Hove City Council had housed 314 households outside the area.

The council said it was working hard to reduce the number of people in shelters outside the area and move them to long-term accommodation in Brighton and Hove.

The council added that welfare officials stayed in touch with residents outside of the city and held regular meetings. Newhaven Kendal Court scandal ‘ended by press coverage’

Fry Electronics Team

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