Lewes North St Quarter scheme start ‘imminent’

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Lewes, the largest town in any National Park in the UK, is likely to see the first delivery of the South Downs National Park Local Plan, which was published only last week, following the approved Lewes Local Plan.

The 15 acre North Street Quarter regeneration scheme is subject to the decision on a planning application submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority in 2015 by by joint landowners Santon North Street and Lewes District Council, (LDC.) Building could start as early as next year.

A project spokesman said, “North Street Quarter is all about early delivery - affordable housing is needed in the Park now and this site has been through ten years of debate. With the emerging South Downs National Park Plan following the approved Joint Local Plan with LDC, which our planning application matches perfectly, hopefully we will be able to bring forward this much needed housing redevelopment, while retaining employment space, soon and show local plans are about delivery of regional need and not just a plan.”

The site includes 416 new homes, 40 per cent of them (165) affordable, a further 15 per cent high priority housing, vital town flood defences and new riverside public spaces and walkways. Developers say as well as sustaining employment space combined with Malling Brooks, it will provide 140,000 sq ft of workspace, accommodating 475 sustainable, registered jobs. The proposal meets all local planning guidance and responds to three years of public consultation when local people prioritised homes, opening up the river and flood defences on what is the largest brownfield site in the South Downs. A decision will be taken on the application later this year by the South Downs National Park as planning authority.

But there have been concerns that no Town elected representative will be involved in the decision. Cllr Stephen Catlin (ind. Priory) told the Express while there were local consultations on which the Town Council was involved, the actual decision will be made by the Park Authority’s planning committee, on which no member from Lewes sits. His comments are alongside.

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