The South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee has this afternoon (Thursday, December 10) approved the North Street Quarter application.
Following years of consultation and debate, committee members unanimously voted in favour of the plans for what has been described as the most significant development in Lewes for decades.
Despite hundreds of people joining a march on Saturday (December 5) and thousands more signing a petition against the proposals, the committee felt the application, jointly submitted by Santon and Lewes District Council, would benefit the town of Lewes while regenerating a brownfield site.
The scheme will deliver 416 new homes, 40 per cent of them affordable, which is a first for the area, 140,000 sq ft of workspace accommodating 475 registered full-time jobs, new riverside walkways, including a foot and cycle bridge across the river, as well as a health centre to serve 26,000 patients. It also includes a large undercroft pay on exit carpark, to support the wider town centre and tourism in the town.
Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “This is great news for Lewes and will allow us to deliver a huge number of community benefits to the town, including homes, flood defences, jobs and great new public spaces.
“We hope that we can now work with all of those who care about this site to build a truly exceptional development for the people and businesses of Lewes.”
Bim Sandhu, CEO of The Santon Group, added: “We are delighted to have achieved planning permission on this important brownfield site. Following the culmination of over three years of extensive consultation with local people and statutory bodies we were able to produce a planning application which perfectly matches agreed local planning policy which requires development to be sustainable to its location yet delivering much needed housing and optimising employment opportunities.”
The scheme uses the latest eco design and technology, with homes built to Lifetime Homes standards and a low carbon community heating system using river water as well as clever sustainable urban drainages systems, with water swales running throughout the site, working with nature allowing ecology to thrive alongside dense housing and human community life.
New workspace in the pedestrian streets and public square will provide around 65,000 sq ft of flexible units, including office space and a range of small creative workshop spaces, half of which will be offered at subsidised rents for creative start up businesses.
Work to relocate some of the existing businesses will now progress until completion ready for those local employers to move into the new premises.
Cllr Andy Smith added: “We now have the opportunity to create a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood which will reconnect this run down area to the heart of Lewes, providing the sustainable homes and jobs we need as well as supporting the town centre and attracting more visitors to enjoy it.”
More information at www.northstreetqtr.co.uk.
To view more information about the meeting, click here.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.sussexexpress.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Express/
3) Follow us on Twitter @sussex_express
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Sussex Express - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.