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North Street Quarter - Has your voice been ignored?
Friday, 23 November 2012 16:00

Are you one of the hundreds of Lewes residents and business people who took part in our research to find out what the people want for this run-down industrial estate so close to the heart of our town?

Part of the Phoenix, as it used to be called, is still owned by Lewes District Council. If you are a Council Tax or business tax payer – that means YOU!

The rest has been bought by a property development company called The Santon Group, who has assured us that it plans to listen carefully to the people before making its plans for North Street.

Understandably, Santon also recognises that it should follow planning guidelines from the Local Authority.

Those are about to be finalised by our District Council.

And, guess what?

The latest draft of the District Plan almost completely ignores the expressed wishes of the people of Lewes.

You asked for:

  • Employment, housing, open space, small-scale retail, community uses, arts and cultural uses, cinema with a majority of buildings being small in scale.
  • A riverside walkway.
  • Any planning application to include landscaped open space and tree planting.
  • Open spaces to be designed to provide flood water storage, where required.
  • Businesses already established on the Phoenix to be supported and encouraged to continue.
  • Any development to be designed to be resilient to flooding rather than merely defended.
  • affordable housing to be provided within any planning application that includes housing.
  • Renewable energy generation to be provided as part of new development.
  • A development brief taking full account of community views should be prepared to provide an overall strategy for the site to guide individual applications.

You would prefer long term, gradual redevelopment of the site, with no requirement for a single comprehensive scheme.

But you’re getting:

  • The riverside walkway.
  • A flood wall.
  • Some commitment to affordable housing and renewable, low carbon energy.

and that is all.

However, the District Plan is not yet set in tablets of stone. It can incorporate change. But only if we can persuade a planning inspector that the views of the people have not been properly taken into account. We can make a start by letting our District Councillors know that we are not happy. They have been elected – by us – to represent our views

So please contact your Ward Councillor and tell him what you think.

Here are the Councillors to speak to:

  • Lewes Bridge Ward – James MacCleary or John Stockdale
  • Lewes Castle Ward – Michael Chartier or David Gray
  • Lewes Priory Ward – Amanda Dean, Ian Eiloart or Ruth O’Keefe

But tell us, too.

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