Keep Lewes ironworks is survey result

Photo by Ewards Reeves from 1934 shows the range of sheds 2-5 Lewes Phoenix Rising want to retain.
Photo by Ewards Reeves from 1934 shows the range of sheds 2-5 Lewes Phoenix Rising want to retain.

A survey carried out by Lewes Phoenix Rising found 97 per cent of respondents wanted to save and renovate the ironworks on the industrial estate.

Phoenix Rising conducted research at its roadshow, where it unveiled alternative proposals to redevelop the North Street and Phoenix area.

The 14-acre site is owned by commercial developer Santon and Lewes District Council.

Their plans include demolishing all the existing buildings to build 390 homes, a large underground car park and mixed-use business and retail space.

Lewes Phoenix Rising has voiced its concerns that these plans do not include sufficient genuinely affordable housing and will displace most of the 50 businesses, social enterprises and arts venues currently on the site.

In its plans, Lewes Phoenix Rising proposes retaining and renovating the Victorian structure of the Phoenix Ironworks to create a large-scale workspace.

At the same time, the group recommends increasing building densities across the whole development site so that the required 390 homes can be built – as well as a further 50 genuinely affordable homes and live-work units.

In the research, 87 per cent of people agreed with the idea of increased housing densities to create a more sustainable development.

Around 700 people attended the five-date roadshow in December and more than 330 people participated in the research.

Other findings included:

* 92 per cent would like the development to be designed to cope with flooding – rather than building high new flood defences;

* 89 per cent said that housing available at affordable rents was ‘very important’;

* 77 per cent would like to see green space and allotments included in the development.

Richard Moore, of Lewes Phoenix Rising, said: “We were delighted with just how supportive local people were of our plans.

“In particular, people quickly recognised how matching the building densities of the centre of Lewes could create a more vibrant and walkable neighbourhood, with all the housing that’s required plus plenty of space for employment and enterprise.

“Our plans are at a very exciting stage now.

“People have seen how it’s possible to create an innovative development that meets the town’s need for homes as well as places to work, create and have fun.”

More information about Lewes Phoenix Rising and its plans for the site is available at www.lewesphoenixrising.com