Decision day on controversial housing and commercial development in Lewes

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A decision on controversial plans for a major housing and commercial development in Malling, Lewes, is due to be made next week.

The application will be considered by the South Downs National Park Authority on Thursday, December 13, at Cowdray Hall, Easebourne, Midhurst (10.30am).

Since the application was made to the SDNPA in June for 53 dwellings and commercial units on a former Victorian waste site there has been considerable opposition from Malling and beyond.

Local resident and Lewes Town Councillor Matt Kent has been following the application and organised meetings to discuss public concerns over inappropriate scale, construction noise, site contamination, impact on traffic, flooding and local schools.

Cllr Kent said: “From looking at the SDNPA Planning Portal you can see the real concern from both local residents and some local authority departments. Reading their report, even the SDNPA Design Officer has many concerns and writes ‘The proposals do not satisfactorily integrate with the townscape characteristics and appearance of Lewes and would harm the landscape of the National Park’.”

Cllr Kent continued: “The Design Officer continues by highlighting that the proposals have significant shortcomings in terms of urban design quality, lack of connectivity, social inclusion and character. There is no contextual distinctiveness and quality.

“In addition to this damning assessment by the SDNPA Design Officer, the scheme will impact Lewes at very many levels, especially the residents of Malling. I plan to speak against this vastly inappropriate proposal at the meeting next week and I hope other Lewes residents can attend too.”